Fall 2020

Permission forms will be accepted for Fall 2020 courses beginning on July 8, 2020. Note that all the PSYC courses listed below are accepted towards the Psychology major, but only some are accepted towards the Neuroscience major.


Principles of Human Brain Mapping with fMRI

In 20F, Remote with synchronous components, in the K block, Luke Chang​

This course is designed to introduce students to the theoretical and practical issues involved in conducting functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments of cognitive and behaviorally-related brain activity. Participants will gain an understanding of the physiological principles underlying the fMRI signal change, as well as the considerations for experimental design. The course will include firsthand exposure to the scanning environment and data collection procedures. Participants will be provided conceptual and hands-on experience with image processing and statistical analysis. At the completion of this course, it is expected that participants will be prepared to critique, design and conduct fMRI studies; appreciate limitations and potentials of current fMRI methods and techniques; and better understand the broad range of expertise required in an fMRI research program. The course is designed to provide the participant with intensive, hands-on instruction. As a result, enrollment in the course will be limited to 12 people. Knowledge of MR physics, signal processing, or the UNIX/Linux operating system is not a prerequisite.

Approved course for the Neuroscience major/minor.
Prerequisite: Instructor permission through the department website.

PSYC 80.04

The Weight Among Us: What Neuroscience Can Teach Us About Obesity

In 20F, Remote with some synchronous components, in the D block, Ann Clark

In 1995, ~56% of adults in the US were overweight or obese. Fast-forward ~25 years and the prevalence has increased to 70%. Over this time period there have been significant advances in the scientific understanding of obesity, yet many questions remain unanswered. In this course, students will examine, through the lens of neuroscience, how successes, failures and challenges in obesity research inform the prevention, management, and treatment of obesity.

Approved course for the Neuroscience major/minor.
Prerequisite: PSYC 6 and PSYC 37 (formerly PSYC 45) (recommended), instructor may waive PSYC 37 for qualified students; and instructor permission via the department website.

PSYC 80.05

Mind, Brain, and Health

In 20F, Remote with some synchronous components, in the K block, Tor Wager

What does the mind have to do with physical health? In this course, we explore the idea that the mind and brain influence physiological processes related to mental and physical health alike. How we conceptualize ourselves and our place in the world sets the stage for how we interpret life events and make decisions. This conceptualization also governs how our bodies respond to stressors and other environmental conditions. 

Approved course for the Neuroscience major/minor.
Prerequisite: PSYC 1 or PSYC 6, at least four additional psychology or neuroscience courses, and instructor permission through the department website.

PSYC 81.08

Animal Cognition

In 20F, Remote with some synchronous components, in the J block, Matthijs van der Meer​

Can rats empathize with others, or experience regret? Can birds grasp the intentions of others, or imagine the future? Do dogs deliberately deceive their human companions? This seminar will explore the cognitive abilities of a range of animals through the careful analysis of behavior, defining rigorous and measurable criteria for inferring complex behaviors, and contrasting them with simpler alternatives. We will draw on neural data, asking if phenomena such as creativity, mental time travel, and theory of mind can be detected based on the observation of brain activity. Finally, we will consider questions relevant to human health: can mice become schizophrenic, chronically depressed, or develop post-traumatic stress disorder? Lively discussion in the classroom is encouraged.

Approved course for the Neuroscience major/minor.
Prerequisite: PSYC 22 or PSYC 28; and instructor permission via the department website

PSYC 70 and PSYC 88-91

Independent and Honors Research

See Independent Research for more info on PSYC 70 (Neuroscience Research), PSYC 88 (Independent Psychology Research) and PSYC 90 (Independent Neuroscience Research).

See Psychology Honors for more info on PSYC 89 (Honors Psychology Research)

See Neuroscience Honors for more info on PSYC 91 (Honors Neuroscience Research)