Teaching

Courses

 

Psych 101, Introduction to Psychology

This course is designed to introduce students to the science of psychology including the theories, research, and applications that constitute the field. In addition, this course is designed to familiarize students with the fundamental ways in which human behavior is shaped by biological, psychological, and social factors.

Students learn about psychological research, neuroscience and behavior, sensation and perception, states of consciousness, learning, memory, cognition and language, intelligence, development, personality, health psychology, psychological disorders and their treatment, and social psychology. Readings consist of textbook chapters and grades are based on four exams.

Prerequisites:  None
Format:  Online, in-person
Level:  Undergraduate
Semesters:  Fall, Spring
Recent syllabi:  Summer 2016 (online), Spring 2017 (online)

 

Psych 682/782, The Aging Brain

This course presents a broad overview of how the brain and behavior change with age. Primary emphasis on neurobiological aspects of aging, including neurodegenerative diseases, that profoundly affect behavior in the elderly.

The goal of this course is to understand how the brain and, consequently, behavior change with age. Humans are the primary focus of the course, although animal models of age-related phenomena are an integral part of many discussions. We consider current theories of aging, basic biological and psychological implications of aging, as well as how neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s devastate both the individual and society. Topics covered include how aging affects the brain, memory, movement, intelligence, language, mood, and sensory systems. Finally, we discuss ways in which we may age “successfully”, thus, improving our quality of life and potentially extending our lifespan as a species. Readings consist of textbook chapters, reviews, and primary literature. Students are expected to give oral presentations from the primary literature, and actively participate in discussions in class.

Prerequisites:  Psychology 254 or equivalent course
Format:  Online
Level:  Undergraduate (682), Graduate (782)
Semester:  Fall
Recent syllabi:  Fall 2015 Undergrad, Fall 2015 Grad

 

Psych 645/745, Hormones and Behavior

The learning objective of this course is for students to understand how hormones influence the brain and behavior. Using data from both humans and animal models, we discuss current theories, methods, and research in behavioral endocrinology. We discuss the traditional roles of hormones in regulating sexual differentiation, reproduction, parental behavior, and aggression, as well as newer research showing that hormones influence various forms of cognitive function, including learning and memory, affect, and emotion. By the end of this course, students should have learned: 1) How the endocrine system works, 2) Why men and women look and act different, 3) How hormones regulate sexual differentiation, reproduction, parenting behavior, and aggression, 4) How hormones influence mood and cognitive function, and 5) To think critically about topics in behavioral endocrinology. Readings consist of textbook chapters and grades for undergraduates are based on four exams.

Prerequisites: Psychology 254 or equivalent course
Format:  Online
Level:  Undergraduate (645), Graduate (745)
Semester:  Spring
Recent syllabi:  Spring 2016 Undergrad, Spring 2016 Grad