Psychology 478

PSYC 478: Research in Physiological Psychology

Prerequisites: PSYC 302, PSYC 378

Survey of the structure and functions of the nervous and endocrine systems in controlling and organizing various psychological events and processes. These include perception and movement, emotion, motivation, memory, language and consciousness and clinical uses of physiological psychology. The laboratory is designed to introduce the student to various scientific ways of studying the relationships between physiology and behavior. Fulfills lab course requirement.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

This course is designed to present the student with an introduction to the structure and functions of the nervous and endocrine systems, particularly as they relate to psychological phenomena. The major topics covered in this course are:

1. Structure of the nervous system
2. Principles of neural organization
3. Sensory coding and perception
4. Muscles and the control of movement
5. Motivation
6. Arousal and Emotion
7. Learning and Memory
8. Language and consciousness
9. Neurophysiology and mental disorders


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The lecture portion of the course provides the student with a survey of neuroanatomy and important functional details of neurophysiology. Specific topics for study are selected on the basis of their representativeness in relating physiological processes to psychology as well as student interest and current advances in the field. The laboratory portion of the course is used to conduct experiments as demonstration exercises in the various ways in which research scientists relate physiology and psychology.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

1. To introduce students to the structural and functional organization of the nervous system.
2. To provide students with an understanding of the implication of various methods used to study the relationship between physiology and behavior.
3. To provide students with a basis for understanding the critical application of physiological principles toward an understanding of psychological phenomena.
4. To enhance students understanding of the relationship between neurophysiology and some mental disorders.
5. To teach students how to read and understand original research dealing with the relationships between physiology and behavior.


Assessment Measures

Graded assignments include in-class tests and the final examination. All tests include an opportunity for students to discuss critical issues in the discipline. Quizzes and homework assignments also form part of the assessment process in lecture. The laboratory portion of the course includes written laboratory reports and written summaries of published research as graded assignments. Active participation in class discussion as well as the laboratory exercises are also used in the assessment process.


Other Course Information

Speakers from the University as well as the medical community who have expertise in some particular area of physiological psychology will occasionally be brought in as guests in either lecture or laboratory.


Review and Approval

September 2001 Updated and put in new format Alastair V. E. Harris