Middlebury

 

Courses

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

NSCI 0100 - Introduction to Neuroscience      

Introduction to Neuroscience
Neuroscience is the interdisciplinary, scientific study of the nervous system. In this course we will investigate basic nervous system structure and function while tracking the history and methodology of neuroscience. We will study examples of neurons, sensation, behavior, memory, thought, language, consciousness, the mind, and disorders of the nervous system. Through lectures, discussions, exercises, electronic sources, and guest lecturers we will examine the working principles of nervous systems, modern neuroscientific methods, and topical issues. We will appreciate why an interdisciplinary approach is best suited for understanding our brain and mind. (Open only to first and second year students) 3 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.

SCI

Fall 2013, Fall 2014

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NSCI 0301 - Physiological Psychology      

Physiological Psychology
This course concerns the biological basis of human behavior. The course will consider the neurochemical, neuroanatomical, and neurophysiological bases of processes such as language, sensation, emotion, aggression, sleep, learning, and memory. In the laboratory the student will conduct experiments using standard (surgical, anatomical, biochemical, behavioral) techniques to investigate central nervous system function. (PSYC 0105 or any biology course; not open to first-year students; open to psychology and neuroscience majors; others by waiver) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab.

SCI

Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

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NSCI 0302 - Conditioning and Learning      

Conditioning and Learning
This course introduces students to a wide range of scientific theories regarding the research and theories relating to how animals, including humans, learn about events in thethe causal structure of their environment and shape their behaviors in response. A contemporary review ofStudents will learn the principles of classical and instrumental conditioning, motivation, cognition, and problem-solving; become familiar with the research supporting these theories; and discuss practical applications to education, psychological disorders, and behavioral therapies.generated by the experimental analysis of behavior is considered within the context of a psychobiological approach to learning and behavior. A self-scheduled lab is part of this course. (PSYC 0105; not open to first-year students; open to psychology and neuroscience majors; others by waiver) 3 hrs. lect.

SCI

Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013

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NSCI 0303 - Sensation and Perception      

Sensation and Perception
Remarkably, using just five basic senses, our brains translate simple external stimuli (e.g. light and sound waves) into unique and vivid perceptual experiences enabling us to interact with our surrounding physical reality. Focusing primarily on the underlying mechanisms of vision and audition, we will explore how our brains construct detailed representations of our world. Throughout these explorations, we will identify perceptual limitations and investigate how mental processes such as attention and emotion affect our perceptions. We will review recent scientific articles and conduct experiments. (PSYC 0105 or any BIOL course; open to psychology and neuroscience majors; others by waiver) 3 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.

SCI

Fall 2014

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NSCI 0305 - Cognitive Psychology      

Cognitive Psychology
Questions about the nature of the mind, thinking, and knowledge have a long and rich history in the field of psychology. This course will examine the theoretical perspectives and empirically documented phenomena that inform our current understanding of cognition. Lectures, discussions, demonstrations, and experiments will form the basis for our explorations of cognition in this class. Topics to be considered include attention, perception, memory, knowledge, problem solving, and decision making. (PSYC 0105; PSYC 0201 or MATH 0116 or ECON 0210 previously or concurrently; PSYC 0202 recommended; not open to first-year students; open to psychology and neuroscience majors; others by waiver) 3 hrs. lect./1.5 hrs. lab.

SCI

Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015

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NSCI 0309 - Psychopharmacology      

Psychopharmacology
This course will examine ways in which drugs act on the brain to influence behavior. Students will learn the basics of brain function, will learn basic properties of drug action, and will learn how legal and illegal drugs, including drugs used to treat psychological disorders, alter the brain function and behavior of humans and experimental animals. (PSYC 0301 or BIOL 0370; not open to first-year students; open to psychology and neuroscience majors; others by waiver) 3 hrs. lect.

SCI

Fall 2011, Fall 2014

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NSCI 0311 - Neuropsychology      

Neuropsychology
In this course we will examine the relationships between human brain function and behavior, with emphasis on the behavioral consequences of brain injury and disease. Students will gain a basic knowledge of brain anatomy and neural function, followed by more detailed study of the neural systems that support cognitive processes such as perception, memory, attention, language, decision making and consciousness. (PSYC 0105; not open to first-year students; open to psychology and neuroscience majors; others by waiver) 3 hrs. lect.

SCI

Spring 2012

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NSCI 0411 - Neuropsychology of Addiction      

Neuropsychology of Addiction
The word addict often stirs up a negative image: a person of low moral character who willfully chooses to engage in questionable behavior. The social stigma attached to addicts reflects the gap between scientific knowledge and public perception of addiction: drug addiction is seen as a character flaw instead of a biological problem. In this course we will examine addiction with emphases on the neurobiology of the disorder. We will integrate human and animal studies to assess the acute and long-term effects of drugs of abuse on neural systems and the subsequent impact on behavior and cognition. (PSYC 0301; open to junior and senior psychology and neuroscience majors) 3 hrs. sem.

Fall 2011

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NSCI 0419 - Concepts: The Stuff of Thought      

Concepts: The Stuff of Thought
Concepts allow us to think--they organize and provide meaning to our perceptions, memories, knowledge, and social interactions. In this seminar we will employ a multidisciplinary approach to explore how concepts are represented psychologically and biologically, how they develop over time, and how they allow us to understand and interact with the physical and social world around us. While the majority of course material will come from cognitive psychology, topics will be taken from philosophy, neuroscience, computer science, developmental psychology, and social psychology. (PSYC 0105; open to junior and senior psychology and neuroscience majors only) 3 hrs. sem.

Spring 2013

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NSCI 0420 - Neurogenetics      

Neurogenetics
Genetics is the study of how biological information encoded in our genes is transmitted between generations, how the information is preserved, how it mutates, and how it is translated; that is to say heredity. Neurobiology is the study of how neurons work, individually and within a network of other neurons. Advances in genetics have revolutionized our approach to studying biology at all levels of organization, and advances in neurobiology have opened the way to understanding the last frontier of human physiology: the brain. In this course we will examine how a genetics perspective can aid our understanding of complex neural systems. While we will encounter several cell biological approaches to studying neurons, the focus will be on genetic questions and methodologies of how neurons work to produce sensation and behavior. (BIOL 0140 and BIOL 0145) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

SCI

Fall 2013

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NSCI 0430 - Memory: A User Guide      

Memory: A User's Guide
How can I remember names better? How can I best study for an exam? How accurate are our memories? A deep understanding of how people remember will allow us to answer these and many other questions. Topics covered in this course include working memory, the nature of encoding and retrieval, applied aspects of remembering, and neuroscientific approaches to understanding memory. Readings will be a mixture of textbook and journal articles. The class will have a seminar format, with emphasis on student-led discussions and contributions. Additionally, student research groups will design and execute a research study examining human memory. Evaluations will be based on the research project, student-led discussions, and reaction papers. (PSYC 0201; open to junior and senior psychology and neuroscience majors only) 3 hrs. sem.

Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2015

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NSCI 0433 - Neurobiology Memory Cognition      

Neurobiology of Memory and Cognition
In this course we will explore the neurobiological mechanisms that allow animals, humans included, to store, process and recall information used to guide behavior. We will discuss topics that include cellular and chemical mechanisms of synaptic plasticity, network theories of brain function, cognitive enhancement, and the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders. Through reading and discussion of review articles and the primary scientific literature, students will gain an in-depth understanding of how neurochemistry, neuroanatomy, and neurophysiology translate into behavior and complex cognitive abilities. (PSYC 0301 or by waiver; open to junior and senior psychology and neuroscience majors only) 3 hrs. sem.

Fall 2012, Spring 2014

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NSCI 0434 - Genes, Brain, Behavior      

Genes, Brain, and Behavior
What we experience—and how we experience it—is influenced by our unique combination of genes. For better or worse, the gene variants we inherit from our parents contribute to our predispositions to psychological disorders, our personalities, and even the way in which we perceive the world around us. To be clear, anything that you can do or think is in some way influenced by your genes. However, this statement comes with a large caveat: except in the case of (relatively) rare single gene mutations, your genes do not determine but rather contribute to who you are. Working within the field of behavior genetics, we will cover topics such as social behavior, obesity, sexual promiscuity, drug abuse, language, and anxiety. (PSYC/NSCI 0301 or BIOL/NSCI 0370; Open to junior and senior neuroscience or psychology majors only, others by approval)

SCI

Fall 2014

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NSCI 0500 - Independent Research      

Independent Research
Students enrolled in NSCI 0500 complete individual research projects involving laboratory or extensive library study on a topic chosen by the student and approved in advance by a NSCI faculty advisor. This course is not open to seniors; seniors should enroll in NSCI 0700. (Approval required)

Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015

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NSCI 0700 - Senior Research      

Senior Research
This course is for senior NSCI majors who plan to conduct one or more semesters of independent research, or who plan to complete preparatory work toward a senior thesis, such as researching and writing a thesis proposal as well as, if appropriate, collecting data that will form the basis for a senior thesis. Senior NSCI majors who plan to complete a senior thesis should register initially for NSCI 0700. Additional requirements may include participation in weekly meetings with advisors and/or lab groups and attending neuroscience seminars. (Approval required, open to seniors only)

Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015

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NSCI 0701 - Senior Thesis      

Senior Thesis
Senior NSCI majors who have completed one or more terms of NSCI 0700, who have a GPA of 3.3 in their major courses, and who plan to complete a senior thesis should register for NSCI 0701 for the final semester of the senior thesis process. Students enrolled in NSCI 0701 write a thesis, give a public presentation of their research, and present an oral defense of the thesis before a committee of at least two Neuroscience faculty members. Faculty may recommend High honors in Neuroscience after considering the quality of these components of a student’s thesis and the student’s GPA in major courses. Additional requirements may include participation in weekly meetings with advisors and/or lab groups and attending neuroscience seminars. (NSCI 0700, Approval required)

Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015

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