Neuroscience Program

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Core Coursework

NSC 201 – Mind and Brain
Fall
Teissere
The major trajectory of this course is to evaluate the project of neuroscience, and in so doing, assess the possibility that the mind is manifested in and caused by the brain. We will consider neural arguments about various states of mind, including dreaming, language, selfhood, agency, attention, and intention from a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. Class discussions will center on working definitions of consciousness, experimental approaches to consciousness and self-knowledge, and dysregulations of mind. A laboratory will explore systems of consciousness from a physiological and phenomenological perspective. Three class hours and one and a half laboratory hours per week. Meets General Academic Requirement S

NSC 310 – Brain and Behavior
Fall
Gotthard, Williams
An examination of the biological basis of behavior in humans and other animals.  Topics discussed will include neuroanatomy; sensory and motor systems; psychopharmacology and drug abuse; motivated behaviors; learning and memory; and neurological and psychological disorders.  Research methods of behavioral neuroscience will be introduced through class discussions, relevant primary literature, and laboratory investigations.  Three class hours and three laboratory hours per week.  Prerequisite:  Introduction to Psychology (PSY 101).

NSC 311 – Neurons and Networks
Spring
Sprayberry, Teissere
An exploration of the molecular and cellular foundations of nervous system function.  Topics discussed will include the ionic and electrical properties of neurons; the biochemistry of synaptic signaling; structure and function of ion channels and neurotransmitter receptors; neuronal and synaptic plasticity; and the functional regulation of basic neuronal circuits.  Research methods of cellular and molecular neuroscience will be introduced through class discussions, relevant primary literature, and laboratory investigations.  Three class hours and three laboratory hours per week.  Prerequisite: Principles of Biology III (BIO 152).

NSC 401 – Advanced Seminar in Neuroscience
Yearly
Core neuroscience faculty in rotation
This course serves as a graduate-style seminar for the senior neuroscience major and will stress reading and discussion of primary texts, independent research writing, and critical analysis of timely issues within the field.  Topics discussed may include:  synaptic mechanisms in memory and learning; analysis of simple neuronal circuits; cortical architecture; neuroendocrinology; the neural basis of sleep and dreaming; pain mechanisms and integration; neurogenetics; neural and psychological disorders; and/or the relationship of neuronal function to behavior and consciousness.  Three class hours per week.  Meets General Academic Requirement W.  Prerequisites: Mind and Brain (NSC 201), Brain and Behavior (NSC 310), and Neurons and Networks (NSC 311).