PSY209: Brain and Behavior Summer 2012, Session A, 3 credits T


PSY209: Brain and Behavior

Summer 2012, Session A, 3 credits

T, W, Th 8:00am-9:50am

Instructor: Jennifer Brummet, M.A.

Email: [email protected]

Office Hours


Available by appointment



Biological Psychology (Sixth Edition), by Breedlove, Watson, and Rosenzweig

Textbook website: Course website:

Room Number: 114 Ernst Bessey Hall

General Information

Course Overview

: This course will introduce you to the biological bas is of behavior. We’ll start by discussing the organization and basic functions of the nervous system, and then discuss how the nervous system regulates several systems and behaviors

. We’ll also discuss some disorders of the nervous system and how they impact behavior. Throughout the course, I also hope to introduce you to the basics of neuroscience research. By the end of this course, I hope you’ll have an understanding of how the brain impacts everyday behaviors, how to study neuroscience, and why studying neuroscience is important.


: While there is no required attendance for this class, I encourage you to attend lecture. I will not provide class lectures or notes if you miss a lecture. However, I am happy to discuss class material by appointment with you if you do need to miss a class session.


: I am here to help you learn the material! I encourage you to ask thoughtful questions during or after lectures. Please schedule an appointment if you would like to discuss lecture material or if you have questions.

Email Policy

: If you email me a question or concern, please put PSY209 in the subject line.

This will help ensure I see it and respond to it in a timely manner (usually within 24 hours

Monday-Friday). While emailing me questions about the material is acceptable, I encourage you to ask questions in class- chances are, someone else has the same question you do!

Classroom environment

: The classroom should be a welcoming and comfortable environment for everyone, including all students and myself. This means that everyone respects all opinions, thoughts, questions, and contributions. This also means not talking while others are talking and not causing any distractions or disruptions. Please arrive to class on time and please wait to pack up and leave until the end of class. Should you need to arrive late or leave early, please sit in a spot convenient for this and do so quietly. This is in accordance with MSU’s policy which states that “The student’s behavior in the classroom shall be c onducive to the teaching and learning process for all concerned.”

Laptops can be used, but please only use them for class related purposes. Playing games, using instant messaging, or surfing the web can be disruptive to me and other students (and of course, distracting to you!). If I (or another student) find you using your laptop for any of these purposes a distraction, I will no longer permit laptop use in class for any student.

Academic Integrity

: Article 2.3.3 of the Academic Freedom Report states that "The student shares with the faculty the responsibility for maintaining the integrity of scholarship, grades, and professional standards." The Department of Psychology adheres to the policies on academic honesty as specified in General Student Regulations 1.0,

Protection of

Scholarship and Grades;

the all-University Policy on

Integrity of Scholarship and Grades

; and Ordinance 17.00, Examinations. Therefore, unless authorized by me, you are expected to complete all course assignments, including quizzes, exams, article write-ups, and presentations without assistance from anyone. Cheating will be taken very seriously and any student that violates MSU rules (i.e. is caught cheating on any assignment) will be given a failing grade for the assignment on their first offense, and a failing grade for the course upon their next offense, and the case will be brought to the attention of the

Psychology Department Chair who may take further action.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities:

Students with disabilities should contact the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities to establish reasonable accommodations as soon as possible. For more information, call 884-7273 (voice), 355-1293 (TTY), or visit

Commercialization of Notes

: Commercialization of course notes or materials of any sort is

NOT allowed for this course.

Class Structure

Class Preparation

: Please read the assigned chapters or articles for each class session.

This will help you follow along with the lecture, come prepared with questions, and help you focus on learning the material rather than just taking notes. Ideally, I suggest reading the material both before and after the lecture.

Class Sessions

: Class sessions will typically include a PowerPoint lecture and some element of discussion or group activity. I will provide you with a version of the PowerPoint presentation so you can use it to take notes without worrying about copying diagrams or figures. I encourage you to use these as supplements and take your own notes in addition to these. I will incorporate discussions, in-class activities, and other tools as appropriate.

Article Write-ups

: Before 5 class sessions, I will assign an article(s) for you to read and respond to in the form of a short write-up. These write-ups will only be two pages doublespaced

, and should include a brief summary of the article and how it applies to what we’ve learned, and should also include your reactions to it.

Class Presentation

: Towards the end of the semester, you will be asked to give a 10 minute presentation on a current article related to behavioral neuroscience. You will need to get approval for your article at least

one week

before the presentation. This will be graded on quality of presentation, organization of your PowerPoint, and presentation of material. A grading rubric will be provided later in the semester, as well as dates and times for each presentation.


: There will be three quizzes throughout the semester. These will be brief assessments consisting of multiple choice questions or short answer questions.


: There will be 2 exams, one midterm and one final. The final exam will not be cumulative. The exams will consist mostly of multiple choice questions (please bring a pencil!), and will also include short answer questions. Questions will test on definitions, terminology, concepts, and applying what you’ve learned to new concepts or ideas. Please show up on time for each exam. You will not be given any extra time if you show up late. If another student has already turned in their exam

, you won’t be allowed to enter and start after this has occurred.

Make-up Exams

: Make-up exams will only be given in the case of a documented medical or family emergency, or a documented event (for example, a religious holiday, or a university event; this does not include vacation or other similar events). In the case of either of these, please fill out the excused absence sheet on ANGEL and submit to me as soon as possible (in person, by email, or by fax). In the case of a scheduled event, it needs to be turned in 1 week in advance of the exam. In the case of an unexpected emergency, this needs to be filled out within 24 hours of the exam. An unexcused absence from an exam will result in a 0 grade.

Optional Paper

: If you miss an exam for an unexcused absence and wish to replace your 0 grade, we can discuss options for writing an 8-10 page research paper on a topic approved by me. It will require primary journal articles as sources, and will need to be turned in within

4 days of the missed exam. This option is only available for one unexcused exam absence, and is not available if you receive a 0 on an exam as a result of cheating.

Grading Scale

: There will be 400 points total for this course as follows:

Each exam: 125 points each (Two exams, for a total of 250)

Each quiz: 20 points each (Three quizzes, for a total of 60)

Article write-ups: 10 points each (Five write-ups, for a total 50)

Presentation: 40 points

4.0: 90%-100%, 360 points and higher

3.5: 85-89%, 340-359 points

3.0: 80-84%, 320-339 points

2.5: 75-79%, 300-319 points

2.0: 70-74%, 280-299 points

1.5: 65-69%, 260-279 points

1.0: 60-64%, 240-259 points

0: < 60%, 239 points and lower


Week 1: May 14-18

Week 2: May 21-25

May 24: Last day to drop with refund

Week 3: May 28

Week 4: June 4

June 6: Last day to drop with no grade

Week 5: June 11

Week 6: June 18

Week 7: June 25

Grades due by July 3 rd

Topics for the Week

Syllabus and course introduction

Biological Psychology: Scope and Outlook

Functional Neuroanatomy


Chemical Bases of Behavior

Article 1 Due Tuesday

Tuesday, May 22: Quiz 1 (chapters 1, 2, and 3) 9:20-


Hormones and the Brain

Evolution of the Brain and Behavior

Life-span development of the Brain and Behavior

Guest lecture by Chieh Chen

General Principles of Sensory Processing

Wednesday, May 30: Quiz 2 (4, 5, 6, 7) 9:20-9:50

Hearing, Vestibular Perception, Taste, and Smell

Article 2 Due Thursday


Tuesday, June 5: Midterm (Ch 1-9)


Motor Control and Plasticity

Article 3 Due Thursday

Sex: Evolutionary, Hormonal, and Neural Bases


Article 4 Due Wednesday

Biological Rhythms, Sleep, and Dreaming

Emotions, Aggression, and Stress


Article 5 Due Tuesday

Tuesday, June 20: Quiz 3 (Ch 12-15) 9:20-9:50

Learning and Memory

Attention and Higher Cognition

Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry

In Class Presentations


Other activities as time allows for

Thursday, June 28 th

: Final Exam

Readings And Items Due

Chapters 1-3

Chapters 4-6

Article 1: Due Tuesday

Quiz: Tuesday, May 22

Ch 1-3 9:20-9:50

Chapters 7-9

Article 2: Due Thursday

Quiz: Wednesay, May 30

Ch 4-7 9:20-9:50

Chapters 10 and 11

Article 3: Due Thursday

Exam 1: Tuesday, June 5

Ch 1-9

Chapters 12-15

Article 4: Due Wednesday

Chapters 16-19

Article 5: Due Tuesday

Quiz: Tuesday, June 20

Ch 12-15 9:20-9:50

Presentation Article Selection


Changes in this schedule may be necessary. I will update in class or on Angel as appropriate.