Intermediate Courses, 2021-2022

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



In 21F at 12, Peter Tse

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 22S at 11, Dwiel

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 22W at 11, Mark Thornton

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

In 21F at 10A, 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 21X, Remote with Synchronous components in the K block, Melissa Herman

In 22S at 10, TBD

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 22S at 2, Viola Stoermer

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


Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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

In 22S at 12, 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 21F at 10A, Ann Clark

In 22W at 10A, Katherine Nautiyal

This course will provide an overview of behavioral neuroscience, which is the study of the biological basis of behavior in humans and other animals. We will start with an overview of chemical transmission in the brain, including neurotransmitter and endocrine systems, and then look at the ways in which neural, hormonal, genetic, and epigenetic mechanisms influence our behaviors. The behaviors that we will focus on include sex, feeding and drinking, social behavior, and stress. The course will cover these topics from the genetic, molecular, cellular, systems, and behavioral levels.

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 22W at 2, Caroline Robertson

In Cognitive Neuroscience, we survey the neural basis of a variety of cognitive phenomena that are the heart of human experience: how we perceive and attend to the world around us; how we remember and forget our experiences; how we listen, communicate, and understand through language and music; how we reason, evaluate, and decide under risk and uncertainty; how we represent our thoughts and those of others; how we lose and gain consciousness through sleeping and waking; how we develop, learn, and adapt. To do this, we take a multidisciplinary approach that spans disciplines including psychology, neuroscience, computer science, biomedical engineering, and philosophy. We will also learn about classic and cutting-edge scientific methods including psychophysics, functional neuroimaging, electrophysiology, optogenetics, machine learning, and brain-computer interfaces. All in all, this course represents a blend of neurobiology (brain) and psychology (behavior). It aims to provide necessary background knowledge for scientific frontiers related to understanding human neuroscience and behavior.

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


Introduction to Computational Neuroscience

In 21F 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.

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 22S at 2, 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