Winter 2025

Permission forms will be accepted for Winter 2025 courses beginning on April 19, 2024.  Note that all the PSYC courses listed below are accepted towards the Psychology major, but only some are accepted towards the Neuroscience major.

PSYC 80.07

Neuroscience and AI

In 25W at 3A, John Murray

The brain is capable of processing complex information to generate flexible behavior across a wide range of changing conditions. Neuroscience has been a source of inspiration for the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in its development of machines that can learn and act, especially for AI architectures using neural networks and deep learning. In turn, developments in AI have provided models which are being used to better understand the brain's computational functions.

This seminar course will examine this reciprocal interaction between neuroscience and AI. A focus will be on a historical overview on how ideas in neuroscience and psychology shaped early AI. We will also examine how the AI tools offer approaches to study brain function (often referred to as "NeuroAI" in the current research literature). Seminar discussions will be based on readings that include a mix of classic and modern research papers and reviews, and book chapters.

Prerequisite: Instructor Permission through the department website


PSYC 81.08

Animal Cognition

In 25W at 2A, 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 84.05

The Power of Beliefs

In 25W at 2A, Luke Chang

How do beliefs affect clinical outcomes?  This course provides an in-depth examination of the role of beliefs and expectations in the manifestation of psychological symptoms and their treatment. Topics to be covered include the psychological and biological bases of pharmacological placebo effects, the mechanisms underlying psychotherapy (e.g., patient and provider expectations), and also how cultural expectations impact how psychological symptoms are experienced (e.g., hallucinations, delusions, and somatization).



Prerequisite: PSYC 1 or PSYC 6; 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)