Winter 2023

Permission forms will be accepted for Winter 2023 courses beginning on May 1, 2022.  Note that all the PSYC courses 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 23W at 2A, JD Knotts​

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 83.07

The Problem of Other Minds

In 23W at 2A, Meghan Meyer

Success in a social world requires understanding other people's thoughts and feelings. Yet, other people's mental states are not directly observable: you cannot see a thought or touch a feeling. Nonetheless, humans are actually quite proficient in inferring these invisible, internal states of mind. How do we accomplish these mind-reading feats? This course will address this question, which is known as 'the problem of other minds.' We will tackle 'the problem of other minds' from multiple angles, relying heavily on neuroscience and psychology research, as well as a few foundational papers from philosophy. Specifically, we will address questions such as: Do specialized portions of the brain accomplish mental state inference? When do mind-reading skills develop in children and are humans the only species that can represent other minds? Why do some people, such as individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), experience difficulties in understanding others? What leads to biases in mental state inference, such as anthropomorphism  (when people attribute mental states to inanimate objects) and dehumanization (when people under attribute mental states to humans)? 

Prerequisite: PSYC 1, PSYC 10, and instructor permission via the department website.

PSYC 83.09

Neurobiology of Social Intelligence

In 23W at 10A, Arjen Stolk

A deep understanding of any social species requires understanding why and how brains interact. This course will examine the neurobiology of human social intelligence taking an evolutionary, comparative, game-theoretic, computational, developmental, pathological, and a newly emerging neurobiological stance.

Course Learning Goals:

  • Gain insight into how humans became such big-brained, other-regarding apes
  • Gain insight into how human brains developmentally construct and pathologically lose an understanding of mind
  • Gain insight into how human brains achieve mutual understanding and how this elusive capacity underpins social interaction, culture, and society
  • Get a thorough background in neuroscientific approaches for advancing our understanding of human social phenomena 
  • Learn how to critically read the neuroscientific literature and view opposing theories and data in perspective

Approved course for the Neuroscience major/minor.
Prerequisites: PSYC 1 or PSYC 6, and instructor permission via the department website.