Departmental Courses

Course information is subject to change.

PSYC 31200. Systems Neuroscience. This course meets one of the requirements of the neuroscience specialization. This course introduces vertebrate and invertebrate systems neuroscience with a focus on the anatomy, physiology, and development of sensory and motor control systems. The neural bases of form and motion perception, locomotion, memory, and other forms of neural plasticity are examined in detail. We also discuss clinical aspects of neurological disorders. Prerequisite(s): BIOS 24204 or consent of instructor. M. Hale, D. Freedman, Spring. 

PSYC 32750. Advanced Topics in Chronobiology. The course considers biological rhythms evident in animals and humans, with an emphasis on daily and annual cycles. There is an emphasis on the role of the nervous and endocrine systems of mammals and birds in relation to behavioral rhythms of eating, drinking, sleeping, sex activity, hibernation, migration, seasonal affective disorders, menstrual and estrous cycles. B. Prendergast, Spring.

PSYC 33000. Cultural Psychology: Philosophical and Theoretical Foundations. There is a substantial portion of the psychological nature of human beings that is neither homogeneous nor fixed across time and space. At the heart of the discipline of cultural psychology is the tenet of psychological pluralism, which states that the study of "normal" psychology is the study of multiple psychologies and not just the study of a single or uniform fundamental psychology for all peoples of the world. Research findings in cultural psychology thus raise provocative questions about the integrity and value of alternative forms of subjectivity across cultural groups. In this course we analyze the concept of "culture" and examine ethnic and cross-cultural variations in mental functioning with special attention to the cultural psychology of emotions, self, moral judgment, categorization, and reasoning. Prerequisite(s): Third- or fourth-year standing. Instructor consent required. R. Shweder, Autumn.

PSYC 33200/43200. Seminar in Language Development. Advanced undergraduates and MAPSS students should register for PSYC 33200. Psychology graduate students should register for PSYC 43200. This course addresses the major issues involved in first-language acquisition. We deal with the child's production and perception of speech sounds (phonology), the acquisition of the lexicon (semantics), the comprehension and production of structured word combinations (syntax), and the ability to use language to communicate (pragmatics). S. Goldin-Meadow, Winter.

PSYC 34400. Computational Neuroscience III: Cognitive Neuroscience. This course is concerned with the relationship of the nervous system to higher order behaviors (e.g., perception, action, attention, learning, memory). Psychophysical, functional imaging, and electrophysiological methods are introduced. Mathematical and statistical methods (e.g., neural networks, information theory, pattern recognition for studying neural encoding in individual neurons and populations of neurons) are discussed. Weekly lab sections allow students to program cognitive neuroscientific experiments and simulations. Prerequisite(s): BIOS 24222 or CPNS 33100. N. Hatsopoulos, Spring.

PSYC 34410. Computational Approaches for Cognitive Neuroscience. This course is concerned with the relationship of the nervous system to higher order behaviors such as perception and encoding, action, attention, and learning and memory. Modern methods of imaging neural activity are introduced, and information theoretic methods for studying neural coding in individual neurons and populations of neurons are discussed. Prerequisite(s): BIOS 24222 or CPNS 33100. N. Hatsopoulos, Spring.

PSYC 36210. Mathematical Methods for Biological Sciences I. This course builds on the introduction to modeling course biology students take in the first year (BIOS 20151 or 152). It begins with a review of one-variable ordinary differential equations as models for biological processes changing with time, and proceeds to develop basic dynamical systems theory. Analytic skills include stability analysis, phase portraits, limit cycles, and bifurcations. Linear algebra concepts are introduced and developed, and Fourier methods are applied to data analysis. The methods are applied to diverse areas of biology, such as ecology, neuroscience, regulatory networks, and molecular structure. The students learn computations methods to implement the models in MATLAB. Prerequisite(s): BIOS 20151 or BIOS 20152 or consent of the instructor. D. Kondrashov, Autumn. 

PSYC 36211. Mathematical Methods for Biological Sciences II. This course is a continuation of BIOS 26210. The topics start with optimization problems, such as nonlinear least squares fitting, principal component analysis and sequence alignment. Stochastic models are introduced, such as Markov chains, birth-death processes, and diffusion processes, with applications including hidden Markov models, tumor population modeling, and networks of chemical reactions. In computer labs, students learn optimization methods and stochastic algorithms, e.g., Markov Chain, Monte Carlo, and Gillespie algorithm. Students complete an independent project on a topic of their interest. Prerequisite(s): BIOS 26210 
Equivalent. D. Kondrashov, Winter. 

PSYC 37300. Experimental Design I. This course covers topics in research design and analysis. They include multifactor, completely randomized procedures and techniques for analyzing data sets with unequal cell frequencies. Emphasis is on principles, not algorithms, for experimental design and analysis.  S. Shevell. Not offered in 2016-17.

PSYC 37900. Experimental Design II. 100 Units. Experimental Design II covers more complex ANOVA models than in the previous course, including split-plot (repeated-measures) designs and unbalanced designs. It also covers analysis of qualitative data, including logistic regression, multinomial logit models, and log linear models. An introduction to certain advanced techniques useful in the analysis of longitudinal data, such as hierarchical linear models (HLM), also is provided. For course description contact Psychology. S. Shevell. Not offered in 2016-17.

PSYC 37560. Advances in Memory Manipulation. As the baby boom generation ages, the rising prevalence of aging-related cognitive decline has become a major challenge for individuals, families and society. How does aging affect our brains and our minds, and are these changes inevitable? This seminar provides an introduction to the scientific literature of the aging mind, focusing on both normal and pathological (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease) cognitive changes in late adulthood. We will cover contemporary research with strong emphasis on cognitive theory and neural systems. Topics include different cognitive domains (e.g., attention, memory, metacognition, affective control) and applied issues (e.g., physical exercise, mental training, stereotype threat). D. Gallo, Spring.

PSYC 37950. Evolution and Economics of Human Behavior. This course explores how evolutionary biology and behavioral economics explain many different aspects of human behavior. Specific topics include evolutionary theory, natural and sexual selection, game theory, cost-benefit analyses of behavior from an evolutionary and a behavioral economics perspective, aggression, power and dominance, cooperation and competition, biological markets, parental investment, life history and risk-taking, love and mating, physical attractiveness and the market, emotion and motivation, sex and consumer behavior, cognitive biases in decision-making, and personality and psychopathology. D. Maestripieri, Autumn.

PSYC 40107. Behavioral Neuroscience. This course is concerned with the structure and function of systems of neurons, and how these are related to behavior. Common patterns of organization are described from the anatomical, physiological, and behavioral perspectives of analysis. The comparative approach is emphasized throughout. Laboratories include exposure to instrumentation and electronics, and involve work with live animals. A central goal of the laboratory is to expose students to in vivo extracellular electrophysiology in vertebrate preparations. Laboratories will be attended only on one day a week but may run well beyond the canonical period. D. Margoliash, Winter.

PSYC 40450-40451-404522. Topics in Cognition I-II-III. Broadly speaking, this workshop will address fundamental topics in cognitive psychology such as attention, memory, learning, problem solving, and language. One unique aspect of this workshop is that we will not only explore topics central to the study of cognition, but we will also explore how the study of cognitive psychology can be used to enhance human potential and performance in a variety of contexts. These contexts range from an exploration of optimal teaching practices to enhance the acquisition of mathematical knowledge in the classroom, to issues regarding how individuals communicate best to foster the optimal exchange of information in, for instance, medical settings, to the optimal strategies older adults can use to help stave off the deleterious effects of aging on cognitive functioning and the performance of everyday activities. M. Berman, Autumn, Winter, Spring.

PSYC 40600. Advanced Seminar in Social Psychology. This seminar course examines social psychological theory and research based on both classic and contemporary contributions. Among the major topics examined are conformity and deviance, the attitude-change process, social role and personality, social cognition, and political psychology. J. Cloutier, Spring.

PSYC 40851-40852-40853. Topics in Developmental Psychology I-II-III. Brown-bag discussion of current research in psychology. Autumn, Goldin-Meadow; Winter, Shaw; Spring, Levine.

PSYC 41115. Social Cognitive Development. Human beings inhabit a very complex social world and our mind has structures that enable us to navigate this complexity. Where do these concerns come from? Are we blank slates that passively absorb cues from our environment? If not, what early competencies enable us to learn? How do these competencies interact with our culture? To answer these questions, this class will cover literature from infants, toddlers, children, and adults to give a rich picture of what changes and remains constant across development. We will cover topics such as children’s understanding of intentions, theory of mind, communication, ownership, morality, and inter-group attitudes. A. Shaw, Winter.

PSYC 41150. Quantitative Methods in Cognition and Perception. Theoretical advances in cognition and perception often use quantitative models to develop and test theories. This course covers a broad range of these methods and models. Topics include signal detection theory, multidimensional scaling, multidimensional classification analysis, Fourier analysis and wavelet based analysis, fMRI signal processing, graph theory and Bayesian modeling. Prerequisite(s): 1 Year of Calculus or Permission of Instructor. M. Berman; S. Shevell, Autumn.

PSYC 42100. Trial Research Seminar. PSYC 42100 is required of first-year Psychology graduate students The purpose of this seminar is to assist students in formulating their trial research project. D. Casasanto, Spring.

PSYC 422250. Event-related and oscillatory analysis techniques with human EEG data. This course will cover analytic approaches for understanding oscillatory neural activity using human EEG. E, Awh, Spring.

PSYC 42400. Teaching Psychology.  Prerequisite(s): Psychology graduate students who TA for PSYC 20000. J. Cacioppo, Autumn.

PSYC 42510. Attention Seminar. We will read original journal articles on the topic of attention and we will discuss the definition of this construct, the methods used to study it, and the neural basis of this cognitive function. E. Vogel,  Autumn.

PSYC 42550. Topics in Cognitive Development. In the first years of life, children’s cognition undergoes dramatic qualitative and quantitative change. For nearly a century, experimental psychologists have sought to understand the nature and causes of these developmental changes. This course surveys classic and current approaches to the study of cognitive development in infants and children. A. Woodward, D. Yurovsky, Spring.

PSYC 42650. Working Memory. This course will cover basic working memory theory, broadly defined, with a focus on neural models. E. Awh, E. Vogel, Winter.

PSYC 43600. Processes of Judgement and Decision Making. This course offers a survey of research on judgment and decision making, with emphasis placed on uncertainty and (intrapersonal) conflict. An historical approach is taken in which the roots of current research issues and practices are traced. Topics are drawn from the following areas: evaluation and choice when goals are in conflict and must be traded off, decision making when consequences of the decision are uncertain, predictive and evaluative judgments under conditions of uncertain, incomplete, conflicting, or otherwise fallible information. W. Goldstein, Autumn.

PSYC 43760. Sensitive Periods: How the Timing of Exper Alters Its Effect. Sensitive periods are defined as phases in life when experience has the most effect on a particular brain system. Typically occurring during development, experience during sensitive periods has long-term implications for sensory processing, affective development, cognitive processes, and production of complex learned behavior such as language. We will combine an investigation of biological underpinnings with behavioral consequences of sensitive periods and ask questions such as: How are sensitive periods defined during development?  Are sensitive periods for a variety of behaviors different or the same? How does experience intersect with the brain to encode and modify a sensitive period? Can we re-open sensitive periods after their normal end - and do we want to? S. London, Winter.

PSYC 43980. Psychneuroimmunology. The aim of this course is to present some of the basic information necessary to interpret literature in the field of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). Given the breadth of this line of research, the course is structured to provide students with an overview of several areas central to the field including basic immunology and neurobiology, psychological stress, coping and PNI, immune-mediated alterations in affective and cognitive processes, and PNI processes associated with health and disease. Course requirements include in-depth weekly discussion of assigned readings and a final paper. G. Norman, Autumn.

PSYC 44700. Seminar: Topics in Judgement and Decision Making. 100 Units. This course offers a survey of research on judgment and decision making, with emphasis placed on uncertainty and (intrapersonal) conflict. An historical approach is taken in which the roots of current research issues and practices are traced. Topics are drawn from the following areas: evaluation and choice when goals are in conflict and must be traded off, decision making when consequences of the decision are uncertain, predictive and evaluative judgments under conditions of uncertain, incomplete, conflicting, or otherwise fallible information. W. Goldstein, Spring.

PSYC 45602. Preparing Research Proposals for Psychologists. The course objectives include identifying grant outlets, understanding NSF/NIH grant proposal components, understanding the review process, and learning how to present your research ideas in the context of a grant proposal.  We will discuss the components of successful grant proposals, including specific aims, background and significance, research design, and societal impact. The components discussed will be tailored to the F31 and NSF SBE format. Students will spend the initial weeks studying the NIH/NSF review process and then prepare formal written proposals. J. Kubota, Winter.

PSYC 45650. Language and the Senses. Language and sound have obvious interactions, as do language and sight. But there are also surprisingly strong interactions between language and the perception of odors. In this seminar, we will read current and historical literature on the sensory systems and language, including seminal texts in neuroanatomy, neuroimaging, perception, naming of sensory stimuli, sensory attention, and temporal and other properties of sensory systems. Students should have a background in basic neuroscience and be in a graduate program in psychology, neurobiology or a related discipline. Prerequisite(s): Background in basic neuroscience and be in a graduate program in psychology, neurobiology, or a related discipline. D. Casasanto, L. Kay, Winter.

PSYC 47002. Language in Culture II. The second half of the sequence takes up basic concepts in sociolinguistics and their critique. Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor. Susan Gal, Winter.

PSYC 48000. Proseminar in Psychology.  Required of first-year Department of Psychology graduate students. Department of Psychology faculty members present and discuss their research. This introduces new students to the range of research areas in the department. S. Levine, Autumn.

PSYC 48001-48002-48003. Mind and Biology Proseminar I-II-III. Seminar series at the Institute for Mind and Biology meets three to four times per quarter. Sign up for three quarters; receive credit at the end of Spring Quarter. TBD, Spring.

PSYC 48155. The Quest for Interesting Research.  Time is short so we often do what we have to do. This seminar is an opportunity to read the articles we wish we had the time to read not those we have to. We will read an eclectic series of articles. They need not necessarily have a common theme, they will be mostly from psychology, perhaps with relevance to law, perhaps to public policy. We will discuss what makes each article interesting, what makes findings important, how to decide what questions to ask and how to determine in what direction to take a research program. But mainly we will just be reading, discussing and enjoying the quest. B. Keysar, Winter.