Intermediate Courses



In 16F at 12: Howard Hughes

Our senses are our windows to the world, and the scientific study of the senses is one of the oldest sub-disciplines in experimental psychology. This course introduces students to the fundamental workings of our senses of vision, hearing, touch, taste and smell. The course includes careful consideration of experimental methodology as well as content.

Prerequisite: PSYC 1 or PSYC 6.
Dist: SCI



In 17S at 2: Travis Todd

Learning is a fundamental process of behavior change that is essential for survival. In this course, we will approach the study of learning primarily focusing on Pavlovian and instrumental conditioning procedures. Generally, this course focuses on the psychological principles that underlie learning, memory, and behavior.

Prerequisites: PSYC 1 or PSYC 6.
Dist: SOC


Social Psychology

In 17W at 11: Thalia Wheatley

This course is an introduction to contemporary psychological theory and research on social behavior. Specific topics include self-presentation, nonverbal behavior, interpersonal relations, conformity, persuasion, aggression, altruism, and group dynamics. Within these contexts, emphasis is placed on the importance of both personality and situational factors as determinants of social behavior.

Prerequisite: PSYC 1.
Dist: SOC


Abnormal Psychology

In 16F at 9L: William Hudenko

This course explores various types of psychopathology, with a focus on characteristics, diagnosis, etiology, and treatment. We will examine psychopathology from a variety of perspectives and will discuss current research on specific disorders. We illustrate the experience of psychology using case histories and video footage to better understand the realities and challenges for those diagnosed with psychopathology.

Prerequisite: PSYC 1.
Dist: SOC


Developmental Psychology

In 16X at 2A: Janine Scheiner

We will examine the social and cognitive development of children from infancy to adolescence. We will also consider the implications of psychological research and theory for parenting, and for social and legal policies that affect young children. Film and videotape materials will be used to illustrate examples of infant and child behavior.

Prerequisite: PSYC 1.
Dist: SOC


Cognitive Neuroscience

In 17W at 2: Ming Meng

Cognitive neuroscience is a multidisciplinary academic field that involves psychology, neuroscience, computer science, biomedical engineering, and philosophy. Methods employed in cognitive neuroscience include experimental paradigms from psychophysics, functional neuroimaging, electrophysiology, cognitive genomics and behavioral genetics. Theoretical approaches include computational neuroscience and cognitive modeling. This course will discuss about neural underpinnings of various mental phenomena including perception, attention, memory, language, the control of action, emotion, intelligence, and consciousness. It aims to provide necessary background knowledge in cognitive neuroscience to students who are interested in related scientific frontiers.

Prerequisite: PSYC 1 or PSYC 6.
Dist: SCI



In 17S at 2: William Kelley

An introduction to the study of thought, memory, language, and attention from the point of view of information processing. In surveying research in cognitive psychology, substantial contact is made with related cognitive sciences, such as artificial intelligence, linguistics, neuroscience, and contemporary philosophy. In the course of examining general principles of cognition, the following topics are discussed: mental imagery; concepts; reasoning; discourse; monetary and courtroom decision making; eye-witness testimony; social attribution and stereotyping; language in chimpanzees; expert systems; the relationship between human and computer intelligence; the neural basis of cognition; the relationship between information processing and conscious experience; and the philosophical foundations of cognitive science.

Prerequisite: PSYC 1, PSYC 6, or COSC 5.
Cross-listed as: COGS 2.
Dist: SOC


Introduction to Computational Neuroscience

In 16F at 2A: Richard Granger

Your brain is composed of low-precision, slow, sparsely-connected computing elements, yet it outperforms any extant computer on tasks ranging from perception to planning. Computational Neuroscience has as its twin goals the scientific understanding of how brains compute thought, and the engineering capability to reconstruct the identified computations. Topics in the class included anatomical circuit design, physiological operating rules, evolutionary derivation, mathematical analyses, and emergent behavior, as well as development of applications from robotics to medicine.

Prerequisite: PSYC 1, PSYC 6, BIOL 34, COSC 1, or ENGS 20.
Cross-listed as: COSC 16.
Dist: SCI



In 17W at 2A: Paul Whalen.

Long before the field of Psychology existed, there was an appreciation that our emotions exert a profound influence over our behavior. Psychology must struggle with the more tangible question of how to study emotions and thereby interpret their influence on behavior. In this course, we will examine how psychologists (past and present) have attempted to study emotion. We will augment this information by learning how the brain supports emotional processing. We will then consider human disorders where emotional processing has gone wrong, as this will inform us about how things were supposed to work in the first place. And, then, we will be in a better position to answer the really big questions. What is an emotion? Who has emotions? Do you? Does your neighbor? Do German Shepherds? How do you know?

Prerequisite: PSYC 1 or PSYC 6.
Dist: SOC


Psychology and Organizations

In 17W at 9L: Judith White

Leadership and teamwork are among the most highly prized skills in today's businesses. This course will explore the psychological underpinnings of these and other organizational behaviors, including decision-making, communication, and conflict resolution. How do we understand leadership? How do power and status affect communication in a hierarchy? How can conflict lead to creativity? We will delve into the answers with a combination of reading and discussion, in-class role-plays and exercises, and project-based learning. Our goal is to advance an understanding of why people behave the way they do in workgroups and in organizations.

Prerequisite: PSYC 1.
Dist: SOC


Behavioral Neuroscience

In 16F and 17W at 10A: Ann Clark

We are complex organisms that perform complex behaviors. In this course we will explore the neurological underpinnings of behavior. Some topics we will cover include the neural control of life-sustaining behaviors such as eating, drinking and sleeping. In addition, we will explore how the brain contributes to the display of other complex behaviors such as aggression, sexual behavior and reward. We will use the text, primary research articles and case studies to examine the relationship between brain and behavior.

Prerequisite: PSYC 6 or BIOL 34.
Dist: SCI


Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

In 17S at 11: Robert Maue and Michael Hoppa

This course focuses on cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie the development and function of the nervous system. This includes aspects of gene expression (transcription, mRNA metabolism) and cell biology (cellular transport and cytoskeleton, cell cycle, signal transduction, and signaling pathways) as they pertain to neurons and glia. Lectures supplemented by in-class discussion of primary research articles will also serve as an introduction to microscopic, electrophysiological, molecular biological, and genetic techniques and animal models used to study the nervous system and neurological disorders.

Prerequisite: PSYC 6 or BIOL 34.
Crosslisted as: BIOL 49.
Dist: SCI