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2019-2020 Course Catalog

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This catalog was created on Friday, November 22, 2019.


Neuroscience

Associate professors:L. Hilt (Psychology), J. Humphries (Biology, chair), B. Piasecki (Biology), N. Wall (Biology)
Assistant professor:L. Ramos (Psychology)
Visiting assistant professor:C. Hicks (Psychology)

Neuroscience

The field of neuroscience uses an interdisciplinary approach to study the brain and nervous system. Humans and other animals rely on the nervous system in order to process environmental stimuli, integrate this information and produce an adaptive response (motor, hormonal, behavioral). A response may be as straightforward as a knee reflex or as complicated as understanding Plato.

The fields of biology, chemistry, and psychology provide much of the core knowledge needed to pursue study in neuroscience, and the major will prepare students for graduate study in neuroscience or allied health areas. However, knowledge from neuroscience may inform creative and scholarly endeavors in many areas including literature, music, and art. Therefore, it is an advantage for a neuroscience major to be in a liberal arts setting that can provide exposure to a wide spectrum of interests.

Required for the major in neuroscience

Students who complete the major in neuroscience will be able to explain the connection between nervous system structure/organization and sensory and motor pathway functions. They will relate molecular/cellular processes to electrophysiological activity and describe how behavior is a result of combined activity of neural networks. By the culmination of the major, they will integrate research literature on a specific topic into a meaningful analysis.

The major in neuroscience requires the following:

  1. The following core courses:
    1. BIOL 130: Integrative Biology: Cells to Organisms
    2. BIOL 150: Integrative Biology: Organisms to Ecosystems
    3. BIOL 242: Comparative Physiology
    4. BIOL 340/PSYC 580: Topics in Neuroscience
    5. CHEM 116: Principles of Chemistry: Energetics and Dynamics
    6. NESC 200: Introduction to Neuroscience
    7. PSYC 350: Psychopharmacology and Behavior
    8. PSYC 420: Clinical and Affective Neuroscience
  2. Two courses from the cellular/molecular course group:
    • BIOL 325: Cell Biology
    • BIOL 354: Molecular Biology
    • BIOL 444 or CHEM 340: Biochemistry I
    • BIOL 453: Developmental Biology
    • PSYC 282: Neuroscience Research Techniques
  3. Two courses from the behavioral/organismal course group:
    • BIOL 200: Animal Behavior
    • BIOL 240: Morphogenesis of the Vertebrates
    • PSYC 290: Developmental Psychopathology
    • PSYC 320: Addiction
    • PSYC 370: Perception
    • PSYC 365: Brain and Behavior
  4. A statistics-based class from one of the following:
    • BIOL 170: Integrative Biology: Experimental Design and Statistics
    • MATH 107: Elementary Statistics
    • MATH 217: Applied Statistical Methods
    • PSYC 170: Statistics in Psychology
  5. Senior Experience as described below

Senior Experience in neuroscience

Students majoring in neuroscience will work closely with neuroscience program faculty to develop a Senior Experience. Students may develop a Senior Experience from the psychology senior capstone or the biology senior capstone. Departmental and instructor approval are required to take a senior capstone.  Alternatively, a student may elect to conduct a neuroscience independent study as their Senior Experience. This option requires a student to complete the following:

  • 12 units of independent study or 6 units of independent study and a summer research experience on the same project.
  • A 15-20 page research paper* on the project submitted by the Wednesday before midterm reading period in Spring Term of senior year.
  • An oral presentation* and exam with neuroscience faculty, to be scheduled by the first day of Spring Term, senior year.
  • Presentation of the project at an appropriate research conference approved by the research advisor.

Students must formally declare which option they will chose for their Senior Experience no later than the first day of Spring Term in their junior year.  If choosing the biology or psychology Senior Experience option, a contract will be signed with the academic advisor and department chair. If choosing the neuroscience independent study option, a contract will be signed with the academic advisor and research advisor.

*If the independent study option becomes an honors project, the honors thesis and oral exam will satisfy these requirements. Scheduling for the independent study option will follow the honors scheduling guidelines.

Required for the minor in neuroscience

  1. The following core courses:
    1. BIOL 130: Integrative Biology: Cells to Organisms
    2. BIOL 150: Integrative Biology: Organisms to Ecosystems
    3. BIOL 242: Comparative Physiology
    4. BIOL 340/PSYC 580: Topics in Neuroscience*
    5. CHEM 116: Principles of Chemistry
    6. NESC 200: Introduction to Neuroscience
    7. PSYC 420: Clinical and Affective Neuroscience
  2. A statistics-based class from one of the following:
    • BIOL 170: Integrative Biology: Experimental Design and Statistics
    • MATH 107: Elementary Statistics
    • MATH 217: Applied Statistical Methods
    • PSYC 170: Statistics in Psychology

*Prerequisite for BIOL 340/PSYC 580 is one of the following:

  • BIOL 242 and one PSYC course, or
  • PSYC 360 and one BIOL course, or
  • consent of the instructor

Courses - Neuroscience

MATH 107: Elementary Statistics

For students in all disciplines. Provides the background needed to evaluate statistical arguments found in newspapers, magazines, reports, and journals and the logic and techniques necessary to perform responsible elementary statistical analysis. Topics include basic data analysis, one-variable regression, experimental and sampling design, random variables, sampling distributions, and inference (confidence intervals and significance testing). This course may not be taken on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: Completion of 54 units in Lawrence courses or consent of instructor

CHEM 115: Principles of Chemistry: Structure and Reactivity

Introduction to the basic principles of chemistry, emphasizing structures of chemical species (atoms, ions, and molecules), stoichiometry, the relationships between structure and reactivity, basic chemical models (gas laws, e. g.) and laboratory skills. This course will serve primarily to prepare students who have not had any previous (high school) coursework in chemistry for CHEM 116. Three lectures and one laboratory session each week. Students with high school chemistry should normally take 116 instead of this course. See the chemistry department's web page for placement examination information.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: Placement examination

CHEM 116: Principles of Chemistry: Energetics and Dynamics

Introduction to the study of chemistry, for students who have taken high school chemistry or CHEM 115, emphasizing structural and quantitative models of chemical behavior. Topics include bonding, thermochemistry, equilibrium, kinetics, and related applications. Three lectures and one laboratory per week. Enrollment is determined by placement examination for students who have not completed CHEM 115. See the chemistry department's web page for placement examination information.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: CHEM 115 or placement examination

BIOL 130: Integrative Biology: Cells to Organisms

An exploration of fundamental cellular processes in an evolutionary context including homeostasis, cell cycle, gene expression, energy transformation, inheritance, and multi-cellular development. Experimental approaches will be emphasized. Lecture and laboratory.
Units: 6.

BIOL 150: Integrative Biology: Organisms to Ecosystems

Development, morphology, physiology, and ecology of plants, animals, fungi and unicellular organisms will be compared in evolutionary context. Phylogenic relationships, ecological interactions, and ecosystem processes will be explored. Lecture and laboratory.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: BIOL 130 or departmental examination

BIOL 170: Integrative Biology: Experimental Design and Statistics

An introduction to experimental and sampling design in the fields of biology and biochemistry, as well as methods of data analysis and interpretation. The connection between statistical analysis and experimental design will be emphasized. Topics include descriptive, exploratory, and confirmatory statistical analyses. Lecture and computer laboratory.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: BIOL 150 or consent of instructor

PSYC 170: Statistics in Psychology

This course introduces statistical methods applied in psychological research. It will cover topics such as hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, and sampling distributions, and provide basic training in the computer package SPSS. The course aims to enable students to design and test research questions in psychology and to improve students' understanding of published research. Quizzes, exams, and a group report. Intended for psychology majors.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or equivalent

BIOL 200: Animal Behavior

A lecture and field-study course examining the principles and problems of animal behavior. Subjects include orientation, feeding, locomotion, communication, escape in time and space, biological rhythms, mate choice, and aspects of social behavior, examined from evolutionary, ontogenetic, physiological, ecological, and ethological perspectives. Lecture and laboratory.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Environmental Studies 210
Prerequisite: BIOL 150

NESC 200: Introduction to Neuroscience

This lecture- and discussion-based course provides an introduction to the structure and function of the nervous system. Basic principles of neurobiology from the anatomical to cellular level are discussed to develop an understanding of how these biological factors are associated with human behaviors. Includes group projects and exams. Not open to students who took PSYC 360.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: BIOL 130

BIOL 240: Morphogenesis of the Vertebrates

An integrated lecture and laboratory course that undertakes the study of the structure and function of vertebrate organ systems through examination of morphology. Vertebrate ontogeny, phylogeny, and anatomy are addressed.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: BIOL 150

BIOL 242: Comparative Physiology

A comparative study of the variety of solutions and adaptations diverse animals can make to similar problems — obtaining and transporting oxygen, maintaining water and salt balance, utilizing food, movement, and nervous and hormonal integration. Lecture and laboratory.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: BIOL 150

CHEM 250: Organic Chemistry I

A study of the relationship between structure and function in organic compounds. Basic topics such as molecular orbital theory, conformational equilibria, stereochemistry, and nucleophilic substitution are covered. Students also learn to use instrumental analysis (NMR, IR, GC-MS) to identify and characterize compounds. One four-hour laboratory per week.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: CHEM 116 or 119 or consent of instructor

CHEM 252: Organic Chemistry II

A study of organic reactions and their mechanisms. The focus of the class is synthesis, both in the concrete sense of building molecules and in the abstract sense of pulling together disparate concepts to solve problems. Case studies from the polymer and pharmaceutical industries underline the relevance of the discipline to everyday life. One four-hour laboratory per week.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: CHEM 250

PSYC 282: Neuroscience Research Techniques

A lecture course with a laboratory component that will explore basic neuroscience research techniques, experimental design, data analysis, scientific writing, laboratory safety, and ethical practices in animal research. During the laboratory students will particpate in hands-on research performing varous histological techniques including microscopy, working with laboratory animals, and designing and conducting behavioral experiments. Written assignments, presentation, and exams.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: One course in psychology or biology

PSYC 290: Developmental Psychopathology

Using developmental psychopathology theory, this course involves the examination of psychological disorders in children and adolescents. The course emphasizes the complex interplay of biological and psychological factors over the course of development that lead to different outcomes. Several topics are covered including ADHD, anxiety, autism, conduct disorder, eating disorders, depression, and self-harm.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or sophomore standing

PSYC 320: Addiction

This course explores the effects of addictive substances on the brain from a neurobiological perspective. It will describe the factors associated with the development of addiction, the changes that occur in the addicted brain, and how science is informing treatment. We will answer popular questions about addiction, including "Is addiction a disease or moral failure?" and "Can people have an addictive personality?" Quizzes, exams, and a paper.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: NESC 200 or one course in psychology or biology, AND sophomore standing

BIOL 325: Cell Biology

Survey of the structure and function of eukaryotic cells, the basic functional unit of life. Correlation of cellular structures including organelles, proteins, and membranes with functions such as cellular communication, division, transport, movement, and secretory pathways will be analyzed. Lecture and laboratory.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: BIOL 130 and BIOL 150, BIOL 170 recommended

BIOL 340: Topics in Neuroscience

A study of the nervous system from the perspectives of psychology and biology. Topics vary year to year and may include glial cells, neural development, and the evolution of nervous systems and neurotransmitter systems. Lecture only. May be repeated when topic is different.
Topic for Winter 2020: Neuroimmunology
Neuroimmunology is the study of the interactions between the nervous and immune systems. This course will explore the interaction of these two systems under homeostatic conditions as well as during disease states. Specific topics to be included may include: infections and cancers of the brain, communication between the nervous and immune systems, and neurodegenerative and neuroimmune disorders. The course will utilize mainly primary literature and include discussions, presentations, and writing assignments.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Psychology 580
Prerequisite: CHEM 116, BIOL 150, and one course in psychology; or PSYC 360 and one course in biology; or consent of instructor

CHEM 340: Biochemistry I

An introduction to the study of biological processes at the molecular level with emphases on protein struction and function, enzyme mechanism and kinetics, fundamentals of physical biochemistry, and the chemistry of biological molecules, including carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Biology 444
Prerequisite: CHEM 250 or concurrent enrollment, or consent of instructor

PSYC 350: Psychopharmacology and Behavior

An interdisciplinary examination of the ways in which behaviorally active drugs exert their effects, drawing on research in pharmacology, psychology, biochemistry, anatomy, and neurophysiology. Provides an understanding and appreciation of the role of behaviorally active drugs in people’s lives, today and in the past.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing; at least one prior biology course recommended

BIOL 354: Molecular Biology

An interdisciplinary examination of regulatory mechanisms leading to differential gene expression. Main topics include transcription, translation, gene and protein structure, and modern genomics. The application of current molecular techniques is emphasized throughout the course. Laboratory work is experimental in approach. Lecture and laboratory.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: BIOL 130 and CHEM 115

PSYC 365: Brain and Behavior (with laboratory)

A lecture course with a laboratory that explores the neurobiological mechanisms associated with complex behaviors. Topics range from hormonal regulation of behavior to learning and memory, motivation, and emotion, sleep, appetitive behaviors, and various psychological disorders. Assessments include exams, presentations, laboratory reports, and participation. Not open to students who took PSYC 360 or PSYC 525.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: NESC 200 or instructor approval.

PSYC 370: Perception

An introduction to the physiological and psychological processes by which we receive, transform, and use the information from the world acquired through our senses. Special emphasis on visual and auditory perception to allow a more in-depth study of two perceptual systems and to provide information useful to those interested in the visual arts and music.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: PSYC 100 or sophomore standing

PSYC 420: Clinical and Affective Neuroscience

This course focuses on advanced topics in neuroscience involving emotion. We will explore emerging knowledge of the brain's involvement in emotional behaviors, including physiological and psychological states. Course topics include: neural plasticity, human neuroscience methods, emotions, and pathophysiology of affective disorders.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: PSYC 350 or PSYC 360

BIOL 444: Biochemistry I

An introduction to the study of biological processes at the molecular level with emphases on protein struction and function, enzyme mechanism and kinetics, fundamentals of physical biochemistry, and the chemistry of biological molecules, including carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Chemistry 340
Prerequisite: CHEM 250 or concurrent enrollment, or consent of instructor

BIOL 453: Developmental Biology

An experimental approach to animal development with laboratory and lecture emphasis on molecular and cellular processes of embryogenesis. Includes discussions of pattern formation, differentiation, cell interactions, gametogenesis and fertilization. Lecture and laboratory.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: BIOL 150; and one of the following (or concurrent enrollment): BIOL 354, BIOL 444/CHEM 340, BIOL 260, or BIOL 325

PSYC 580: Topics in Neuroscience

A study of the nervous system from the perspectives of psychology and biology. Topics vary year to year and may include glial cells, neural development, and the evolution of nervous systems and neurotransmitter systems. Lecture only. May be repeated when topic is different.
Units: 6.
Also listed as Biology 340
Prerequisite: CHEM 116, BIOL 150 and one course in psychology; or PSYC 360 and one course in biology; or consent of instructor