Psy 314, 601 Survey of Biopsychology
Spring 1999 - Syllabus

INSTRUCTOR: Cheryl A. Frye, Ph.D.

See below for a course description, goals, expectations and requirements, assessment (and extra credit possibilities), materials, and time and location.
Week 1 January 27 Introduction,Scope,Outlook Chapter 1 Terms, Questions Resources
Biological Foundations
Week 2 February 1 History of Biopsych Chapter 1 Terms, Questions Resources
February 3 Neuropsychology Chapter 2 Terms, Questions Resources
(Barinaga, 1995)
Week 3 February 8 Functional Neuroanatomy Chapter 3 Terms, Questions Resources
February 10 Psychopharmacology Chapter 4 Terms, Questions Resources
(Julien, 1992)
Week 4 February 17 Methods in Biopsych Chapter 5 Terms, Questions Resources
Week 5 February 22 Vision, Touch and Pain Chapter 6 Terms, Questions Resources
February 24 Hearing, Taste, Smell Chapter 7 Terms, Questions Resources
Week 6 March 10 EXAM 1
Regulation of Behavior
Week 7 March 15 Reproductive Behavior Chapter 9 Terms, Questions Resources
March 17 Ingestive Behavior Chapter 11 Terms, Questions Resources
Week 8 March 22 Sleep  Chapter 8 Terms, Questions Resources
March 24 Biological Rhythms Chapter 8 Terms, Questions Resources
Week 9 March 29 Emotion/Aggression Chapter 10 Terms, Questions Resources
Cognitive Neuroscience (Usherwood, 1993)
Week 11 April 5 Learning and Memory Chapter 12 Terms, Questions Resources
April 7 Learning and Memory: Neural Mechanisms Chapter 12 Terms, Questions Resources
Week 12 April 12 Language Chapter 13 Terms, Questions Resources
April 14 Cognition/Neurological Chapter 14 Terms, Questions Resources
Emotions and Mental Disorders (Smith, 1991)
Week 10 April 19 Schizophrenia and Anxiety Chapter 15 Terms, Questions Resources
April 21 Autism, Stress Disorder and Drug Abuse Chapter 16 Terms, Questions Resources
Week 13 April 28 EXAM 2
Week 14 May 3 Student Presentations
May 5 Student Presentations
Week 15 May 10 Student Presentations

This syllabus is subject to minor revisions.  If such revisions take place, they will be clearly noted repeatedly in class in a verbal manner.

COURSE DESCRIPTION (from graduate catalog):  The research literature and theoretical positions in the area. Provides preparation for advanced work.

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COURSE GOALS:  This course is intended as an introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience, a branch of psychology that concerns itself with the relationship between the nervous system and behavior.  As such, it focuses on more reductionistic explanations of mental and behavioral events.  In this course, we will be reviewing what is known about the biological underpinnings of human and non-human behavior.  The first goal of this course is for students to integrate this information into their existing knowledge base.  Students should gain a greater understanding of neural and sensory functioning.  Current knowledge regarding the basic biological functions, including ingestive behavior, feeding and aggression will be discussed.  This course will also examine current knowledge regarding the biological basis of language development, learning, gender development, as well as emotions, stress, and mental functioning. The second goal of this course is to provide students an adequate framework about basic principles in biopsychology so that in the future new information may be incorporated as the rapidly expanding field progresses.   To accomplish these goals, the topical information will be presented through a combination of lectures, discussions, self-guided exercises, and classroom demonstrations that emphasize outcome as well as process.

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CLASS TIME AND LOCATION:  Monday and Wednesday, 7:15 - 8:35 PM; Room SS 131.

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Office  Hours (ss 220) Monday and Wednesday, 5:30-7:00 PM

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N.R. Carlson. (1999) Foundations of Physiological  Psychology,  Allyn and Bacon. ($73.00 new)


W.H. Calvin, Ojemann, G.A. (1994) Conversations with Neilís Brain:  The Neural Nature of Thought and Language, Addison Wesley Press. ($13.00 new)

O. Sacks (1985) The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Harper Perennial, Press. ($13.00 new)

* other readings are journal articles that are on reserve in the library

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As this course will focus on the biological basis of behavior, you are expected to have some college level psychology and biology before taking this course.  If it has been some time since you have taken any biology, you may wish to review an introductory biology text.  Similarly, students in the class are expected to be familiar with the basic concepts in psychology, such as classical conditioning, short term memory etc.  If these concepts sound unfamiliar to you be sure to consult an introductory psychology textbook for review.

Time Commitment:
 This course meets in two 1.33 hour period per week.  Three hours of outside of class work is expected for each hour of class time.  Thus, in order to make satisfactory progress in this course, you should be spending a minimum of 8 hours per week outside of class reading, writing, and reviewing your notes.  If you wait until the last minute to do this work (say the weekend of the first exam), then you will have at least 40 hours of work to do in a 48 hour weekend. Do not make this mistake.  Students who have been successful in this course are those with good study habits.  Successful graduate students have reviewed the reading prior to coming to class and then taken detailed notes from the reading after class.  The notes from the lecture and the reading are then studied on a regular basis (rather than just prior to the exam).

Preparation for class
 Students are expected to come prepared to all classes so that they can engage in discussion of the material rather than just hearing a lecture.  The instructor retains the right to lower any studentís final grade for excessive unpreparedness, tardiness, or absenteeism.

Ethics and Conduct
 Please be aware of the University Policy on Academic Integrity outlined in the graduate bulletin and behave accordingly.  Students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that is conducive to learning in the classroom.

Student Input
 This is your class.  The instructor is interested in bringing all students closer to the material.  In order to accomplish this input is necessary from students.  Please come to class prepared with questions about the reading and/or about the last class discussion so that we may engage with one another about the material.

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 Grading is not competitive and students are encouraged to study and discuss materials together.  However, unless explicitly stated otherwise (e.g. presentations), any work turned in must be yours and yours alone. If you have any questions about the University Policy on Academic Integrity outlined in the graduate bulletin, ask the instructor for clarification, as violations will not be tolerated.

 Your final overall grade will be assigned based on your performance on the requirements of this course (listed below).  If you ever have any questions regarding your standing in this course, please feel free to meet with the instructor.

 Grading Scale:  What do I have to do to get an A?

A 94-99%        C 74-76%
A- 90-93%       C- 70-73%
B+ 87-89%     D+ 67-69%
B 84-86%        D 64-66%
B- 80-83%        D- 60-63%
C+ 77-79%    F 59% and below

 Your grade in this class will be determined as follows:

 Two exams: 30% of overall grade
 Research Paper: 20% of overall grade
 Presentation: 10% (May 4, 6, or 11) of overall grade
 Thought Paper on book:  10% of overall grade
 Extra credit (Optional:  up to 3%:  0.5% for each summary written up to 6)

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EXAM 1 and 2:  These exams will be in class on March 11 and April 27. They will consist of multiple choice questions, fill-in the blank questions, short answers, and essays.

OPTIONAL FINAL EXAM (May 17): If you were not able to take either exam for any reason, then you must take the final examination and your grade on the portion of the final that corresponds to that exam will be utilized.  If you took either exam 1 or 2 and were not happy with your grade you can retake the corresponding portion of the final and the higher grade will prevail.

Research Paper:  A research paper that describes the existing knowledge about the biological basis of a particular system of interest and critiques the models and rate limiting steps to learning more about the biological basis of the system in question.  This paper should be in APA format and should be about 15 pages long.  Discuss possible topics with the instructor and start your research early as you will likely need to obtain articles from other libraries.  The last date and time that this paper will be accepted is May 13 at 5PM.  Students are encouraged to turn their papers in prior to this final deadline.  The instructor would be happy to provide comments on students papers prior to the deadline.  In order to do this bring a reasonable draft of your work to the instructor during her office hours and she will give you feedback.  The last opportunity for comments on drafts will be May 3.

Presentation:  Students will present an overview of a topic in biological psychology that was not previously discussed in class.  Students are encouraged to work in groups.  Three topics not previously covered will be generated by the class and each class member is expected to work within a group exploring the biological basis of that topic.  Each group will then be responsible for presenting an overview of the topic to the class at the end of the semester.

Thought Paper:  A 1-2 page thought paper (write this like an abstract) that summarizes and analyzes one of the two recommended books. The last date and time that this paper will be accepted is May 13 at 5PM.  Students are encouraged to turn their papers in prior to this final deadline.

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EXTRA LEARNING, EXTRA CREDIT. (0.5 points added on to your final grade for each satisfactory 1 page, typed summary -total maximum 6 papers)
North East Under/Graduate Research Organization for Neuroscience:   Saturday May 1, Trinity College, Hartford, CT
This will be a one day conference in which graduate and undergraduate students present their research, discuss pipeline/training issues, and hear a keynote address by Dr. Robert Sapolsky.  Students can earn credit for writing up symposium summaries, talk summaries, or poster summaries (maximum 4 papers).
Colloquium Summaries:   Due to the search for a new biological psychology faculty member there will be several colloquia in the area of biological psychology. Students can earn credit by attending and writing up summaries of these talks (maximum 4 papers).
Brain Injury Art Show:  There is an art show being held at the North Lobby of the Empire State Plaza (February 9-12).  The art work is by individuals who have had brain injury.  Attend the art show and write a 1 page summary of what you learned from the experience and earn 0.5 points of extra credit.
Brain Bee:  In order to promote education about the brain and in support of Brain Awareness Week, a brain bee contest will be held for high school students at SUNY Albany.  The winner will go on to a National Brain Bee.  Attend this event and write a 1 page thought summary of it for 0.5 points of extra credit.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Last updated 16-Feb-99 by JKL