Spring 2017

Permission forms will be accepted for Spring 2017 courses beginning on May 1, 2016.

PSYC 65

Systems Neuroscience with Laboratory

In 17S at 10 — Jeffrey Taube, Matt van der Meer

The primary focus of this course is the physiological basis of behavior from a systems perspective. Such topics as localization of function, neural models, and the physiological bases of sensory/motor systems, learning/memory, and spatial cognition are considered. The laboratory introduces the student to the anatomy and physiology of the mammalian central nervous system and to some of the principal techniques used in systems and behavioral neuroscience. Laboratory sections are scheduled for Tuesdays 9:00am-12:00pm, Tuesdays 1:30-4:30pm, Wednesdays 1:45-4:45pm, or Thursdays 1:30-4:30pm. Students will be assigned to one of these four laboratory sections.
Prerequisite: PSYC1 or PSYC 6; and PSYC 26 or PSYC 45 or BIOL 34; and permission through the department website.

PSYC 81.05

Technology, Psychology, and Neuroscience

In 17S at 10A — Emily Cooper

Technological advances have the ability to revolutionize how we study the brain, how we treat disabilities and disorders, and how we interact with the world on a day-to-day basis. This course will examine contemporary topics at the intersection of technology, psychology, and neuroscience.  Students will gain expertise, present a seminar, and write a report on an approved topic of their choosing. Examples of potential topics include: the use of emerging technologies for therapeutic or clinical applications (such as virtual reality therapy, artificial retinas, and human exoskeletons); technological advances that are changing how we study the brain (such as optogenetics, transcranial direct current stimulation, and functional magnetic resonance imaging); and the psychology of our interaction with new technologies (such as the internet, social media, and mobile devices).
Prerequisite: Permission through the department website.

PSYC 81.06

Analog and Digital Brains

In 17S at 2A — Jeremy Manning

The human brain is the most complex piece of computing machinery in the known universe.  What hope, then, do we have of understanding how the "wetware" of the brain gives rise to the "software" of the mind?  In addition to reviewing some of the classic studies that have most heavily inspired modern computational neuroscience as a field, we will also vote as a class on a topic (or two) to specialize in each term.  Some possible topics include: neural decoding, deep neural networks, Bayesian models, agent-based models, behavioral models (e.g. memory, navigation, decision making, etc.), and/or "big data" analyses of neural datasets.  As a class, we will become experts in one or two topics of interest by reviewing the most influential and recent work.  We'll rely on in-class discussions, low-pressure student presentations, student- and instructor-led demonstrations, and other hands-on learning techniques.
Prerequisite: Permission through the department website.

PSYC 83.05

Affective Neuroscience

In 17S at 3B — Paul Whalen

This course will explore the very latest approaches and findings in the field of emotion research.  The emphasis will be on understanding the research strategies that affective neuroscientists use to address the roles of emotion in our daily lives.  We will see that affective neuroscience is a highly interdisciplinary field that draws from basic, cognitive and social neuroscience to emerge as a distinct field in its own right.  We will read and discuss the most current research findings in the field and if our discussions lead us to unanswered questions, we may even do a bit of original research ourselves.
Prerequisite: PSYC 43 and permission through the department website.

PSYC 85.04

Development, Learning, and Disorders

In 17S at 2A — Ming Meng

Understanding how the human brain develops and learns to process and organize information is one of the fundamental challenges in cognitive neuroscience. This seminar will cover topics of infants' development as well as neural plasticity in adolescents and adults. We will focus on visual and auditory development, including visual acuity, color vision, depth perception, object and face perception, auditory sensitivity, and speech perception. Case studies of atypical development and developmental disorders will also be discussed, with emphasis on how these studies can help us to understand the normal developmental process. No textbook will be assigned for this course. Students are expected to review current trends in cognitive neuroscience literature. Throughout the course students will also develop critical thinking skills needed to effectively evaluate research.
Prerequisite: Permission through the department website.

PSYC 88

Independent Psychology Research

The course is designed to enable specifically qualified students, usually seniors, to engage in independent laboratory or field research under the direction of a faculty member.  Students may take up to three terms of Independent Research. However, no more than two terms of 88, 89, or a combination of 88s and 89s may count toward the eight required courses for the major. Normally a student must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 both overall and in the major to enroll.  Consult the Independent and Honors Research page for further information, including the required permission form for enrolling PSYC 88.

Notes:

  • This course may NOT be used to satisfy the 60- or above requirements for the major.
  • Non-majors may request exemption from normal prerequisites and other requirements of PSYC 88.
  • Prerequisite: PSYC 1 or 6, PSYC 10, and PSYC 11; and completed permission form including the advisor's signature.

PSYC 89

Honors Psychology Research

This course is designed to enable especially qualified students, usually seniors, to engage in independent laboratory or field research under the direction of a faculty member. Students may take two or three terms of Honors Research, but no more than two terms of 88, 89, or a combination of 88s and 89s may count toward the eight required courses for the major. This course may not be used to fulfill the upper-level (60 or above) major requirement. A student must have a minimum grade point average of 3.30 in the major and 3.0 overall to enroll and must enroll before the end of the Fall term of their Senior year. Consult the Psychology Honors page for further information, including the required checklist for enrolling in PSYC 89.

PSYC 90

Independent Neuroscience Research

This course is designed to enable Neuroscience majors to engage in independent laboratory research under the direction of a neuroscience faculty member. This course is suitable to use for your culminating experience, but cannot be used to fulfill the elective requirement for the Neuroscience major. Students may take up to two terms of independent research. Students are required to write a final report of their research.

Prerequisite: PSYC 6 and 10. A completed complete with the signature of the advisor should be submitted to the PBS Department office. The Neuroscience Steering Committee will evaluate and approve the application.

PSYC 91

Honors Neuroscience Research

This course is designed to enable especially qualified Neuroscience majors, usually seniors, to engage in independent laboratory research under the direction of a neuroscience faculty member. Students must take at least two terms of Psychology 91. A student must have a minimum grade point average of 3.30 in the major and 3.00 overall to enroll and must enroll by the Fall term of the senior year. Consult the Neuroscience Honors page for further information, including the required checklist for enrolling in PSYC 91.