BISC327 Syllabus Fall 2016 (2)

BISC327 Syllabus Fall 2016 (2) - Bisc 327 Introductory...

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Bisc 327, Introductory Neuroscience, Fall 2016-2017 Shoemaker Rm 303, T-Th 2:30-3:45 Professor: Dr. Lainy Day Office: 512 Shoemaker Hall; [email protected] Office Hours W 3-5 Text: Biological Psychology: An introduction to behavioral and cognitive neuroscience, 7 th ed., S. M. Breedlove and N. V. Watson (6 th or 5 th edition will do for most sections but page numbers will not match syllabus, a few figures are altered or absent, and one section at the end of the semester is not in the 5 th edition) Additional Reading : I will regularly assign short articles in addition to your book chapters. Check blackboard regularly for assignments and the dates by which the articles should be read. Course Description: This course is an introduction to how nerve cells work singly and in concert to guide the behavior of animals. We will take a comparative approach to understand how brains have evolved to allow animals to perceive stimuli, maintain cycles of arousal, adopt particular mating strategies, learn and guide behavior, and communicate. We will also talk about variation in individual animal’s abilities to cope with a range of environmental and social stimuli by means of learning and epigenetics. Learning Objectives: 1) In first part of this course students should develop a basic understanding of how nerve cells work, how brains are divided into functional units, and how evolution and development shape the nervous system. 2) In the second part of the course students will learn that the nervous system filters external stimuli, processes information, and guides behavioral output. 3) Outside readings will help students to relate the text to current discoveries, politics, and the natural world. 4) In this class we will also be working to explore ideas and express our ideas in writing using case studies to develop understanding of topics and by performing writing exercises. Exams: There will be three in-class exams plus a comprehensive final exam. The exams will consist of 50 questions and the final 100 questions. Questions can come from both lectures and reading assignments but will mainly focus on lecture material. You must take all four exams. Make-up Exams : If you are going to miss an exam, you must contact the instructor the day of the exam or before unless there is a legal or medical emergency. Make up exams will only be given for reasonable and documented excuses at the discretion of the professor. Make-up exams will cover the same material as that given during the scheduled exam time but will not contain the same questions. For university-sponsored absences, exams can be scheduled just before or as soon as possible after the day of your return.
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