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Course Catalog
Courses Taught in NBB NBB Home

NBB Courses (Fall 2015)

Important: Always confirm offerings with appropriate Course and Time Roster
from the University Registrar.

Detailed course offerings are listed below
(subject to change).

BIONB 1220, Sem 101Freshman Writing Sem. - From Nature to Knowledge: Natural history’s role in science          #18197
3 credits. Letter grades only. Prerequisite: Permission of Knight Writing Program required. J. LaPergola. How did a med-school drop-out’s opportunistic observation of birds forever change our understanding of life? How did two men accidentally discover the first known poisonous bird? In its rawest form, science begins with careful observation and description of phenomena. At a time when budget cuts lead to heated political debates that threaten exploration-driven science, this course will provide students with the opportunity to better understand natural history’s role in the progress of biological science. We will read (1) various forms of primary and secondary scientific literature, and (2) popular accounts of scientific discovery, including podcasts, social media, and books by authors such as Charles Darwin and Niko Tinbergen. Writing will emphasize cogency and will engage various audiences, including scientists, the public, and policy-makers.  TR 8:40-9:55.  B106 CMS.
BIONB 1220, Sem 102Freshman Writing Sem.Flocks, Swarms and Crowds: How order emerges out of chaos      #18198
3 credits. Letter grades only. Prerequisite: Permission of Knight Writing Program required. J. Miller. What can the unified motion of a flock of birds teach us about the behavior of human crowds? Can the decentralized decision-making of a honeybee swarm offer insights into what makes an effective democracy? Biological systems exemplify self-organization, where order emerges out of chaos without the help of any leader or conscious over-sight; and scientists are only beginning to explain how these feats of organization are achieved. In this course, we will explore this emerging field and relate biological examples of self-organization to human societies. We will use primary scientific literature and popular science formats, including blogs, podcasts, and books such as Sync and Honeybee Democracy. Writing will engage various audiences while synthesizing course material, emphasizing logical flow and clarity in the writing process.  TR 2:55-4:10.  400 CLD.
BIONB 2210 - Introduction to Behavior                                                                     #1479 (3cr), #1480 (4cr), #1481 (5 cr)
3-5 credits, variable. Prerequisite: two majors-level biology courses. Priority is given to students studying neurobiology and behavior. Not open to freshmen. May be taken independently of BIONB 2220. 3 credits with no discussion section; 4 credits with one disc per week; 5 credits with one or two disc per week and participation in Writing in the Majors program; 4- or 5-credit option required of students in neurobiology and behavior program of study. Limited to 12 students in 5-credit option (students may not preregister for 5-credit option; interested students complete application form on first day of class). The 5-credit writing section is not offered in the summer. H.K. Reeve, staff. General introduction to the field of animal behavior. Topics include evolution and behavior, behavioral ecology, sociobiology, chemical ecology, communication, orientation and navigation, and hormonal mechanisms of behavior.  MWF 12:20, G01 URH.

BioNB 3220 - Hormones and Behavior #4646
3 credits. Letter grades only. Prerequisite (any one of the following): PSYCH 2230, BIONB 2210 or BIONB 2220, or two biology courses plus psychology course. Enrollment limited to: juniors and seniors. Co-meets with PSYCH 7220. Two lec plus sec in which students read and discuss original papers in the field, give an oral presentation, and write a term paper. E. Adkins-Regan. Covers comparative and evolutionary approaches to the study of the relationship between reproductive hormones and sexual behavior in vertebrates, including humans. Also hormonal contributions to other social behavior (parental behavior, aggression, mating systems), stress, learning and memory, and biological rhythms. MWF 11:15, MWF 11:15, 202 URH.


BioNB 3240 - Biological Psychology Laboratory #16627
4 credits. Letter grades only. Prerequisite: PSYCH 2230 or BIONB 2220; may be taken concurrently with these courses.  Lab fee: $100.  Permission of instructor required.  Enrollment limited to: 20 juniors and seniors.  D. M. Smith. This course is designed to provide an introduction to experimental research on the neural basis of behavior and cognition in animals. Topics will include basic neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, neural and hormonal control of behavior, and learning and memory. Students will gain extensive hands on experience with a variety of laboratory techniques, animal species, and behaviors. R 1:25-4:25, 202 URH.


BioNB 3250 - Insect Behavior #16614
3 credits. Prerequisite: One college level biology course. Enrollment limited to: 50 students.  L.S. Rayor. Insects are the most diverse organisms on earth, with equally diverse behavior. This course will introduce you to the fascinating world of insect behavior. You will gain familiarity to insect behavior from individual sensory and physiological mechanisms to the behavioral dynamics of foraging, courtship, parental care, and social behavior. TR 11:40-12:55, B108 CMS.


BioNB 3920 - Drugs and the Brain #16224
4 credits. Prerequisite: BIONB 2220 or equivalent course in neurobiology by permission of instructor. Recommended prerequisite: knowledge of biochemistry. Enrollment limited to: 90 students. R.M. Harris-Warrick. Introduction to neuropharmacology, with an emphasis on the neural mechanisms of psychoactive drugs. Topics include a brief introduction to neuropharmacology and a discussion of the major neurotransmitter families. The rest of the course covers the major psychoactive drugs, including cocaine, heroin, psychedelics, marijuana, and alcohol, as well as pharmaceuticals for the treatment of anxiety, schizophrenia, and depression. Includes a term paper in the form of a grant proposal to study a current problem in neuropharmacology. The course will use i-Clickers, which the students should have before the first class. TR 10:10-11:25, A106 CMH.


BioNB 4230 - Cognitive Neuroscience #3897
4 credits. Prerequisite: 2 majors-level biology courses or biopsychology or neurobiology (e.g., PSYCH 2230 or BIONB 2210, BIONB 2220); and introductory course in perception, cognition, or language (e.g., PSYCH 1102, PSYCH 2090, PSYCH 2140 or PSYCH 2150). Enrollment limited to: 20 students. Co-meets with PSYCH 6250. One lab in sheep brain dissection. B. L. Finlay. Studies the relationship between structure and function in the central nervous system, stressing the importance of evolutionary and mechanistic approaches for understanding the human behavior and cognition. MWF 9:05-9:55, G20 URH.


BioNB 4280 - Clinical Neurobiology #16227
3 credits. Prerequisite: two courses from BIONB 2220, BIOMG 2800, BIOMG 3300 or BIOMG 3310; co-registration in one of the courses is acceptable by permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to: 25 students. Open to advanced undergraduates.  R. Booker.    The goal of this course is to provide students with an appreciation of the current challenges facing researchers studying neurodiseases. The focus is on the etiology, epidemiology, cellular and molecular basis, and strategies for treating of a number of neurodiseases, including but not limited to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, neural ischemia, depression, ADHD, eating disorders, and AIDS-related dementia. The course provides a health context that enriches the student’s learning experience in other advanced courses in the biological sciences. Guest speakers include faculty from across the Ithaca campus and the Weill College of Medicine, Departments of Neurology and Neuroscience.  MW 2:30-4:25, W364 CMH.


BioNB 4700 - Biophysical Methods #4235
3 credits. Letter grades only.  Prerequisite: solid knowledge of basic physics and mathematics through sophomore level. Recommended prerequisite: some knowledge of cellular biology.  M. Lindau. Overview of the diversity of modern biophysical experimental techniques used in the study of biophysical systems at the cellular and molecular level. MW 2:55-4:10, 120 PHS.

BioNB 7210 - Introductory Graduate Survey in Neurobiology and Behavior #1526
2 credits. S-U grades only. Corequisite: BIONB 2210. Requirement for first-year graduate students in the Field of Neurobiology and Behavior. H. K. Reeve, staff. A graduate-level seminar with presentations from lecturers in BIONB 2210. Discussions of current research in the area of behavior that have been presented in the lecture class. A lab project and/or a writing component each week could be assigned to ensure engagement with the material. W 4:30-6:00. CMH A305.

BioNB 7640 - Plant-Insect Interactions Seminar #4219
1 credit. (May be repeated for credit) S-U grades only. Permission of instructor or graduate standing required. A. Agrawal, A. Kessler, K. Poveda, R. Raguso, J. Thaler. Group intensive study of current research in plant-insect interactions. Topics vary from semester to semester but include chemical defense, coevolution, insect community structure, population regulation, biocontrol, tritrophic interactions, and mutualism. TBA.





BioNB 4200, Lec 001 - Neuroscience Through the Nobels #17975
2 credits.  S-U grades only.  Prerequisite: BIONB 2220.  J.R. Fetcho.  The course will explore research that has led to Nobel Prizes in the neurosciences.  Students will read and discuss original scientific papers by Nobel laureates with attention to their impact on neuroscience as well as the personal history of the neuroscientists who did the work.  T 1:25-2:40. B104 CMS.


BIONB 4200, Lec 002 – Evolution of Acoustic Communication #18471
2 credits. Grading variable (S-U or letter grade). BIONB 2210 preferred but not required as a pre-requisite or co-requisite, intended for juniors, seniors. J.L. Dowling. All living organisms communicate, and effective communication is critical to survival and reproduction. Acoustic communication is one of the most important and salient communication modalities, and is used by animals across taxa. After this course, you will be able to answer the question “How and why do animals use sound for communication” from the perspective of development, mechanism, function and evolutionary origins. This will provide you with a framework that will add to your understanding of how animal behaviors and traits come to be. In addition to gaining appreciation for the incredible diversity of acoustic signals, you will also recognize how answering basic science questions like these helps to inform translational and applied science, like conservation and global change mediation, and services like education and medicine; fields in which many of you will work. There will be one class meeting per week, all will involve active participation, including exploratory group work, class discussion of primary literature, hands-on demonstrations and field trips. W 2:55-4:10pm. B104 CMS.

BioNB 7201 - Research Design in the Study of Animal Social Behavior (Lunch Bunch: T 12:20)                                   #1484



BioNB 7202 - Topics in Neural Basis of Behavior (Journal Club: F 10:30)




POST-A GRADS:  Please register for GRAD 9001 – Graduate Dissertation Research                                              #13977



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