Syllabus (Spring 2016)

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  • Course OverviewThe ability to express thoughts and emotions, and to interact with the environment, is largely dependent on the function of the nervous system. This course will examine basic concepts and methods in the study of brain, mind, and behavior. Topics include the structure and function of the central nervous system, brain development, learning & memory, emotion, sensory and motor systems, the assessment of brain damage, and clinical disorders.

    Joint ResponsibilitiesAchieving the broad aims of this course requires commitments from instructor and students alike. Below you will find an outline of some of those responsibilities.

    Your instructor agrees toa) Make himself available outside of class during

    posted office hours (and by appointment, as necessary) to answer questions, provide extra help, and discuss matters related to the course of study.

    PSY 231 Neuroscience Spring 2016

    Course Site: (sensoryS16) 1


    Dr. Justin Hulbertoffice: Preston 118phone: x4390e-mail: (preferred contact)

    Course Materials

    Kalat (2016). Biological Psychology (12th ed.). Boston, MA: CENGAGE Learning.

    Additional materials will be posted on Moodle2 (see footer for URL & access code).


    At least one of the following: Introduction to Psychological Science, Introduction to Neurobiology, Foundations of Mind, Brain, and Behavior, or permission of the instructor.


    Midterm exams (two): 50% Final paper: 15% Final exam: 25% Participation, homework,

    and quizzes: 10%

    NEUROSCIENCEClass Times: Tu/Th 11:50-1:10pm in RKC 102 | Office Hours: Tu 4-5pm/Th 1:30-2:30pm/by appointment


  • b) Respond in a timely fashion (typically by the end of the next school day) to email queries. In the event that more time is required to fully address the student query, the instructor will acknowledge receipt of the email and provide the student with an estimated response time or suggest meeting in person.

    c) Facilitate a thoughtful, considerate, and engaging learning environment.

    d) Make available on Moodle a skeleton of lecture slides, suitable for downloading/printing prior to class (typically on or before the night prior to the relevant meeting). Note that these skeletons are intended to supplement note taking (e.g., by providing important/complicated figures) but are not a replacement for attending class, as they will lack critical information presented only in class.

    e) Provide adequate time to complete assignments, minimize changes to the published schedule/assignments, and immediately notify students about any such changes.

    f) Provide comprehensive and fair assessments of materials presented or assigned. Assignments, with a level of feedback commensurate with the nature and aims of the task, will be returned to students in a timely fashion.

    g) Create and welcome opportunities for students to provide feedback on the course/teaching throughout the semester.

    You are responsible fora) Showing up to class regularly, on time, and

    prepared. While formal attendance will not be taken, no make-up quizzes will be offered, nor will late homework assignments be accepted. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to catch up on the relevant material.

    b) Checking your college email regularly for important messages about the course.

    PSY 231 Neuroscience Spring 2016

    Course Site: (sensoryS16) 2

    Learning Objectives

    Coming out of this course, you should have:

    An understanding of the structure and function of the nervous system, including how damage or disease can lead to disordered behavior.

    The ability to describe neuronal structure and processing, including electrical and chemical signaling.

    Developed an appreciation for how physiology and environment jointly influence emotions and behavior.

    Come to recognize and understand the biological basis of human development, perception, movement, regulation, cognition, and emotions.

    The ability to read and critically evaluate (in spoken and written form) empirical research from the field of neuroscience/biological psychology.


  • c) Keeping up with the assignments and readings. You are encouraged to wait until *after* the class meeting to read the assigned material, as the meetings are designed to build a general framework for understanding and clarify what you should focus on in the readings. You should aim to do the required readings by the next class meeting (at which time they are fair game on a quiz). Textbooks are becoming more and more expensive; I encourage you to shop around to find the most cost-effective solution. While the current (12th) edition is available in the bookstore, there are other options. That could mean renting the text (in paper or digital form), sharing one with a friend, or buying a previous edition. Note, however, that chapter/page numbers in previous editions do NOT match the references in this syllabus (and some of the content has also changed). It is the responsibility of anyone using a previous edition to locate the relevant material. To give students time to shop around for the textbook, the first few chapters will be made available on Moodle.

    d) Substantively participating in class discussions (in class and/or online via Moodle). This could, for instance, involve asking/answering questions related to the offered course materials or posing extensions of learning/memory research currently under consideration. If you participate online, your identity should, at the very least, be visible to the instructor in order for you to receive credit. Note that a top-notch level of participation does not necessitate responding to every question raised in class or online; active or passive efforts to welcome contributions from everyone in the class are also looked upon favorably.

    e) Keeping distractions to a minimum in class. Phones should be turned off or set on vibrate (and kept out of sight). Written permission to use laptops in class

    PSY 231 Neuroscience Spring 2016

    Course Site: (sensoryS16) 3

    Best Practices

    To make the most of office hours, it is recommended that you:

    Avoid waiting until the last minute (before an exam or due date) to attend. Seeking extra help or clarification well in advance of deadlines will leave you plenty of time to act on advice discussed.

    Email the instructor in advance or bring with you a concise list of topics/questions you wish to discuss, if possible. Itemizing in this way helps ensure all your questions are addressed and saves you time in the long run. That said, dropping by for a spontaneous, broader chat is also most welcome. Tea and/or coffee will be available.

    When emailing the instructor, keep in mind that:

    Taking the time to draft a concise message with proper spelling/punctuation is expected and will be met with a similarly considered reply.

    Writing/other academic help is available through Bard Learning Commons (


  • for note taking must be obtained in advance through the instructor and can be revoked by the instructor.

    f) Submitting assignments on time, digitally via Moodle (unless prior arrangements have been made with the instructor). A late paper will immediately be subject to a 10% penalty, with an additional 10% penalty leveled against that assignments score for every 24 hours it remains late. Homework assignments are due at the beginning of the class on the specified date (or emailed to the instructor before, if you cannot attend that class). No late homework assignments will be accepted, nor will there be any make-ups offered for in-class quizzes. The only paper extensions/make-up exams that will be granted involve documented cases of medical or family emergency. Students requiring alternative testing or course accommodations (e.g., due to disability) should contact the instructor privately as early as possible after the first class meeting.

    g) Upholding academic integrity. Plagiarism (e.g., copying others words or ideas without proper citation) will not be tolerated. You are expected to work independently on each graded assignment, unless explicitly instructed otherwise. When in doubt as to what constitutes plagiarism within the confines of this course, you are encouraged both to consult the student handbook ( and to contact the instructor for further guidance. There is absolutely no penalty for asking for clarification; however, failing to abide by Bards standards for academic integrity can result in failing the course.

    Assessment Details Midt