Departmental Courses

Course information is subject to change.

PSYC 30401. Psycholinguistics. This class will overview a broad sample of research in psycholinguistics. We will look at topics on speech perception, morphological processing, syntactic parsing and semantic/pragmatic processing. Our goal is not to provide an exhaustive introduction to any particular topic. Instead, we will highlight a few general themes around some “big questions” that are important for anyone who are interested in studying language science from a cognitive perspective.M. Xiang, Autumn

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 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 33360/23360. Methods in Gesture and Sign Language Research. In this course we will explore methods of research used in the disciplines of linguistics and psychology to investigate sign language and gesture.  We will choose a set of canonical topics from the gesture and sign literature such as pointing, use of the body in quotation, and the use of non-manuals, in order to understand the value of various effective methods in current use and the types of research questions they are best equipped to handle. D. Brentari, S. Goldin-Meadow, Autumn. CHDV 23360, CHDV 33360. PSYC 23360

PSYC 33550. The Psychopath? Mad or Bad? What We Can Learn About Morality By Studying Psychopathy. Psychopathy can be considered as a disorder of the moral brain, because individuals with psychopathic traits seem to have the cognitive capacity to understand right from wrong but don’t care. They also exhibit a flagrant disregard for social and moral norms. Individuals with psychopathy provide “natural experiments” to examine the psychological and biological mechanisms involved in moral cognition and behavior. J. Decety, 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, Winter. 

PSYC 37400. Human Memory. This seminar surveys the scientific study of human memory, emphasizing theory, research, and applications. We will cover current research and methods in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience, as well as historical precursors and classic studies. Topics include conscious and nonconscious memory processes, corresponding neural systems, and various phenomena such as amnesia, source monitoring, reconsolidation, confabulation and distortion, and autobiographical memory.  D. Gallo, Spring.

PSYC 37900. Experimental Design II. 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. M. Berman, S. Shevell, 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 40300. Advanced Topics in Biological Psychology. What are the relations between mind and brain? How do brains regulate mental, behavioral, and hormonal processes; and how do these influence brain organization and activity? This course provides an introduction to the anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the brain; their changes in response to the experiential and sociocultural environment; and their relation to perception, attention, behavior, action, motivation, and emotion.PQ: Graduate standing and some sophistication with biological topics, including Neuroscience. Kay, 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 40500. Advanced Seminar in Developmental Psychology. This is an introductory course for graduate students in developmental psychology. Topics in biological, perceptual, cognitive, social, and language development will be covered. This course will satisfy one of Psychology graduate students’ core course requirements. A. Shaw, Autumn.

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. D. Yurovsky, Autumn; S. Goldin-Meadow, Winter; A. Shaw, Spring.

PSYC 41210. Psychophysiology: Methods, Concepts, and Applications. This course will provide an overview of the principles, theory, and applications of psychophysiological research. The course has two primary goals: 1) to provide an overview of major psychophysiological approaches and measures through discussion of contemporary research; 2) to provide an introduction to theory and research in major areas of human psychophysiology with specific applications to the study of cognition, affect, and health. G. Norman, Winter.

PSYC 42052. Genes and Environment in Language and Cognitive Development. Children show tremendous variability in how quickly and how well they learn their native language. Where does this variability come from? We’ll explore both genetic and environmental contributions to language and cognitive development, aiming for an integrative understanding that moves beyond debates about nature and nurture. Readings will include work in behavioral genetics, environmental plasticity, niche inheritance, and cultural evolution and transmission. S. Levine, D. Yurovsky, Spring.

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. S. London, Spring.

PSYC 42260. Seminar on Advanced Topics in EEG Analysis.  Please contact instructor for permission to register. E. Awh, Winter.

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. Please contact instructor for permission to register. E. Vogel,  Spring.

PSYC 42650. Working Memory. This course will cover basic working memory theory, broadly defined, with a focus on neural models. Please contact instructor for permission to register. E. Awh, E. Vogel, Autumn

PSYC 42750. Advanced Topics in Chronobiology and Behavior. This course will explore the mechanisms by which circadian and seasonal biological clocks influence the development and adult functioning of the brain, the neuroendocrine system, and the immune system, all within the context of adaptive changes in behavior.  In addition to being immersed in theoretical aspects of chronobiology, students will be trained in critical reading of primary research literature, the construction of testable hypotheses, and designing experiments to test these hypotheses. We will also discuss features of the scientific process that allow rapid progress in developing a scientific field. B. Pendergast, Autumn

PSYC 43350 Gesture.This course will examine the spontaneous movements that we produce when we talk––our gestures.  We will first consider what gesture is (and is not), and then explore gesture in relation to communication, thinking, learning, action, and the brain, ending with an exploration of gesture as it becomes language, on-the-spot and over longer periods of time.S. Golden-Meadow, 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 44460. Advanced Seminar in Social Neuroscience. This seminar provides an advanced overview of current methodological and theoretical issues central to social neuroscience with an emphasis on fmri research. Topics will Include: the role and function of brain networks believed to support social cognition, neural correlates of person perception and evaluation; and neural regions involved in self-regulation. J. Cloutier, J. Kubota, Winter.

PSYC 44700. Seminar: Topics in 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, Spring.

PSYC 45300. When Cultures Collide. 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. R. Shweder, Spring.

PSYC 45950. Stereotyping and Prejudice. This seminar provides an overview of the literature on stereotyping, prejudice, and Discrimination. Topics will Include: the formation of stereotypes and prejudice; the processes that underlie stereotyping and prejudice; stereotyping and prejudice from the target’s perspective; and prejudice and stereotype reduction. J. Kubota, Spring.

PSYC 46661. Advanced Topics in Behavioral Genomics. One of the great opportunities in this post-genome age is to use DNA to better understand behavior. It is increasingly obvious that the interactions between genes and behavior are complex. Thus, identifying meaningful connections between them requires careful consideration of both. This seminar course will use primary literature as a platform to consider how behavior is influenced by, and itself alters, the genome, including the epigenome. The course will cover examples from a variety of animals including humans, various methods for measuring the epigenome, genome and behavior, and the relevant neurobiology for each system. S. London, 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. M. Berman, 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. L. Kay, Spring.

PSYC 48150. Graduate Seminar.  B. Keysar, Winter.