Intermediate Courses, 2020-2021

While all intermediate courses count towards the Psychology major/minor, only some are approved for the Neuroscience major/minor.



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.

Approved course for the Neuroscience major/minor for class of 2023 and earlier only.
Prerequisite: PSYC 1 or PSYC 6.
Dist: SCI



In 21S, Danielle Fournier and Elizabeth Smedley

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. In addition, we will also cover material examining the neural systems underlying these processes. The main goal of this course is for students to develop a strong understanding of theory and research in the area of learning and behavior.

Approved course for the Neuroscience major/minor.
Prerequisites: PSYC 1 or PSYC 6.
Dist: SOC


Social Psychology

In 21W, Remote with synchronous components in the D block, Keilah Worth

This course is an introduction to social psychological theory and research. Specific topics include perception of self and others (e.g., attitudes, emotions), interpersonal relations (e.g., attraction, altruism, conformity, aggression), and group dynamics (e.g., decision making, intergroup conflict). Within those contexts, emphasis is placed on how we construe situations around us and how those situations influence us in ways we may not realize.

Prerequisite: PSYC 1.
Dist: SOC


Abnormal Psychology

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 21S, Keilah Worth

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 Psychology

In 21S, Samantha Wray

This course provides a comprehensive overview of cognitive psychology, the scientific study of mental processes: how people acquire, store, transform, use, and communicate information. Topics may include perception, attention, language, memory, reasoning, problem solving, decision-making, and creativity.

Approved elective for the Neuroscience major/minor.
Prerequisite: PSYC 1, PSYC 6, or COSC 1.
Dist: SOC


Introduction to Programming for Psychological Scientists

In 21W Remote with synchronous components in the E block, Jeremy Manning

Note that for 21W PSYC 32 will be offered as a graduate level course listed as PSYC 132.  Please contact Professor Manning if you are interested in enrolling.

Studying the mind is an increasingly computational endeavor.  Modern psychological laboratories use computers to administer experiments, collect data, analyze data, create figures, write papers, and share their work with the world. Related and analogous approaches are used in fields as diverse as finance, art, biomedical science, law, and many others. In this course we will use hands-on training experiences, problem sets, and mini research projects to introduce students to a sampling of the computational tools employed in cutting-edge psychological research. A focus of the course will be on "open science" practices that enable scientists to share and clearly document each aspect of the scientific process.

Prerequisite: PSYC 11 required, MATH 1 or MATH 3 recommended.
Dist: TAS


Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Please note that this course was previously offered as PSYC 46.

In 21S, 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.

Approved course for the Neuroscience major/minor.
Prerequisite: PSYC 6.
Crosslisted as: BIOL 49.
Dist: SCI


Behavioral Neuroscience

Please note that this course was previously offered as PSYC 45.

In 21W, Remote with synchronous components in the J block, 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.

Approved course for the Neuroscience major/minor.
Prerequisite: PSYC 6.
Dist: SCI


Cognitive Neuroscience

Please note that this course was previously offered as PSYC 27.

In 21W, Remote with synchronous components in the C block, Caroline Robertson

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.

Approved course for the Neuroscience major/minor.
Prerequisite: PSYC 1 or PSYC 6.
Dist: SCI


Introduction to Computational Neuroscience

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.

Approved course for the Neuroscience major/minor.
Prerequisite: PSYC 1, PSYC 6, COSC 1, or ENGS 20.
Cross-listed as: COSC 16 and COGS 21.
Dist: SCI



In 21S, Mark Thornton

Emotions define human experience. When you ask someone how they are, they tell you how they are feeling. We formulate our life goals in terms of emotions, striving to obtain happiness, while avoiding regret. Emotions such as love, pride, contempt, and shame shape our social relationships, both as individuals and as groups. When our emotions go badly awry, we suffer debilitating mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. Although emotions play a central role in our lives, studying them scientifically presents profound challenges. They seem intuitively hidden, elusive, messy, and hard to evoke or quantify in a laboratory. Despite these challenges, researchers have developed a thriving science of our emotional lives, which you will learn about in this course. We will begin by considering the origins of emotion, both biological and cultural. Subsequently we will examine how emotions manifest themselves in our bodies and brains, change dynamically over time, shape our social interactions, influence our cognition, and affect our mental health. Finally, we will consider ongoing theoretical debates in emotion science, and where the field could and should go next.

Prerequisite: PSYC 1 or PSYC 6.
Dist: SOC