Spring 2020

Permission forms will be accepted for Spring 2020 courses beginning on May 1, 2019.  Note that all the PSYC course listed below are accepted towards the Psychology major, but only some are accepted towards the Neuroscience major.

PSYC 60

Principles of Human Brain Mapping with fMRI

In 20S at 2A, 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 students. 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 65

Systems Neuroscience with Laboratory

In 20S at 10, Kyle Smith

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 or 2:15-5:15pm. Students will be assigned to one of these two laboratory sections and must be able to attend the same section throughout the term.

Approved course for the Neuroscience major/minor.
Prerequisite: PSYC 6 and instructor permission through the department website.

PSYC 81.08

Animal Cognition

In 20S at 10A, 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 81.09

Storytelling with Data

In 19S at 2, Jeremy Manning

In a world plagued by “alternative facts” but flush with “big data,” how can we find truth? For example, can truth be objectively defined, or are there many equally valid truths?  And does truth depend on the question we’re asking, or is it a fixed property that we could somehow uncover with the right analysis?  These sorts of question align with other deep questions about how we can really “know” something.  For example, can we really ever hope to prove that the universe works in a particular way?  If so, how?  Or if not, what’s the point of observing the world around us at all, or of becoming a scientist?  In this course we will define truth from a (somewhat cynical, but embarrassingly practical) psychological perspective: truth is the story about data that others find most convincing.  To that end, we will examine (from this psychological perspective) tools and strategies for finding patterns in complex datasets, crafting convincing stories about those patterns, and communicating them to others.

Prerequisite: Instructor permission via the department website.

PSYC 88-91

Independent and Honors Research

See Independent Research for more info on 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)