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Courses Taught in NBB NBB Home

NBB Courses (Fall 2016)

Director of Undergraduate Biology Studies and Associate Chair for Curriculum
David L. Deitcher
W125 Mudd Hall

Neurobiology and Behavior Requirements
Students are required to take the two introductory courses BIONB 2210 - Neurobiology and Behavior I: Introduction to Behavior and BIONB 2220 - Neurobiology and Behavior II: Introduction to Neuroscience with discussion sections (4 credits per semester), and 7 additional credits. The 7 additional credits must include at least one advanced BIONB course of 3 or more credits from the 3000 level or above. ”Topics” courses (BIONB 4200s and BIONB 7200s), independent study (BIOG 4990), PSYCH 4230 and PSYCH 4260/PSYCH 6260 may be used toward the additional 7 credit requirement, but do not qualify as advanced courses.

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

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

Note re: BIONB 3230 - Methods in Animal Behavior. This course was briefly (and incorrectly) listed in the course roster as a Fall 2016 offering — however, it will not be offered until Spring 2017. Apologies for the confusion.

BIONB 2210 - Introduction to Behavior - 3cr Lec 001 #1452; 4 cr Lec 002 #1453
3-4 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. Enrollment limited to 15 students per 4-credit disc. Four-credit option required of students in neurobiology and behavior program of study.  Three credits with no discussion section; 4 credits with one disc per week and writing assignments.  R.A. Raguso, L.C. Manella, Staff. General introduction to the field of animal behavior. Topics include evolution and behavior, behavioral ecology, sociobiology, chemical ecology, communication, orientation and navigation.  MWF 12:20, G01 URH.

BIONB 3220 - Hormones and Behavior #4519
3 credits. Letter grades only. Prerequisites: Any one of the following: PSYCH 2230, BIONB 2210, 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, 406 MLT.

BIONB 3240 - Biological Psychology Laboratory #4965
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. 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, 498 URH .

BIONB 3300 – Introduction to Computational Neuroscience  3 cr Lec 001 #16538; 4 cr Lec 002 #16539; Lab 401 #16540 3-4 credits variable. Prerequisite: BIONB 2220 or permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to: 50 students. Four credit option includes lab providing additional computer simulation exercises.  C. Linster. Covers the basic ideas and techniques involved in computational neuroscience. Surveys diverse topics, including neural dynamics of small networks of cells, neural coding, learning in neural networks and in brain structures, memory models of the hippocampus, sensory coding, and others. Lec MW 2:55-4:10, Lab TBA, 217 IVS.

BIONB 3950 - Molecular and Genetic Approaches to Neuroscience #15916
3 credits. Letter grades only. Prerequisite: BIONB 2220 or BIOMG 3300 or BIOMG 3320. Offered alternate years. Enrollment limited to 25 students. D. L. Deitcher.  Focuses on how different molecular and genetic approaches have led to major advances in neuroscience. Lectures, student presentations, and discussions examine original research articles. Topics include ligand-gated channels, potassium channels, seven membrane spanning receptors, development of the neuromuscular junction, neurotransmitter release, learning and memory, neurodiseases, and optogenetics. TR 2:55-4:10, 105 KND.

BioNB 4220 – Modeling Behavioral Ecology #15921
4 credits.  Prerequisite: BIONB 2210, one year of calculus, course in probability or statistics, or permission of instructor.  Advanced undergraduates and graduate students.  Offered alternate years.   Limited to 25 students.  H.K. Reeve.  Intensive lecture and computer lab course on modeling strategies and techniques in the study of behavioral evolution. Population-genetic (including quantitative-genetic), static optimization, dynamic programming, and game-theoretic methods are emphasized. These approaches are illustrated by application to problems in optimal foraging, sexual selection, sex ratio evolution, animal communication, and the evolution of cooperation and conflict within animal social groups. Students learn to critically assess recent evolutionary theories of animal behavior, as well as to develop their own testable models for biological systems of interest or to extend preexisting models in novel directions. The Mathematica software program is used as a modeling tool in the accompanying computer.  TR 2:55-4:10, B106 CMS.

BIONB 4320 - Neural Circuits for Motor Control in Health and Disease #15925
3 credits. Prerequisite: BIONB 2220 or ECE 2100 or permission of instructor. Offered alternate years. Enrollment limited to 25 students.  J. H. Goldberg.  Almost all behaviors-from speech to a cross court forehand-are mediated by the contraction of muscles. This course examines the neural origins of motor behavior, from simple reflexes to complex learned motor sequences. Ascending the motor hierarchy, we will study the neuromuscular junction, spinal cord, brainstem, cerebellum, basal ganglia and cerebral cortex. At each level, we will examine the structure and function of the local microcircuit, as well as diseases-such as myasthenia gravis, stroke, ALS, ataxiaand Parkinson’s-that result from that circuit’s dysfunction.  Each week we will discuss a topic relating to the neurobiology of motor control, with a combination of lectures (both video and real-life) and student-led presentations of relevant research papers. Students will be evaluated on the basis of their participation, their presentations, their final project (a 5-page grant proposal on a research question relevant to the course), and a final exam. TR 10:10-11:25, A106 CMH .

BIONB 4330 – Topics in Cognitive Science: Consciousness and Free Will #16321
4 credits. Letter grades only.  Prerequisite: COGST 3140 or COGST 6140.  S. Edelman.  A course examining the core disciplines of cognitive science using varied themes from semester to semester. M 2:00-4:25, URH 260.

BIONB 7640 - Plant-Insect Interactions Seminar #4128
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. Day, Tim TBA.


BIONB 4200, Lec 001 – Animal Behavior Journal Club for Undergraduates #17327
2 credits. Prerequisite: BIONB 2210 or permission of instructor.  K.L. Shaw.  Description.  T 2:55-4:10, W364 CMH.  The Animal Behavior Journal Club for Undergraduates is intended for Biology students who wish to become familiar with the scientific literature on the modern study of animal behavior by learning to select, read, understand, analyze, and orally present summaries of original research papers from the current literature.  Students will become familiar with evidence-based arguments behind our understanding of animal behavior.  We will also examine the structure of scientific papers, the differences between various journals and the culture of science, scientists, and authors.

BIONB 4200, Lec 002 - Neurotechnologies and Neural Circuits #17469
2 credits. Prerequisite: BIONB 2220.  Melissa Warden.  Recent years have seen an explosion in the development of technologies for observing and controlling brain structure and function, and it is now possible to dissect neural circuits with unprecedented spatial, temporal, and genetic precision. This course will introduce methods at the forefront of modern neurobiology, and will discuss the advantages and limitations of these methods. Topics will include viral and genetic tools, optogenetics, chemogenetics, multiphoton microscopy, microendoscopic epifluorescence imaging, fiber photometry, high-density electrophysiology, whole-brain structural imaging, and connectomics.  R 2:55-4:10, W364 CMH. 


BIONB 7201 – Research Design in the Study of Animal Social Behavior (Lunch Bunch - T 12:20).  W358 CMH.                             #1457



BIONB 7202 – Topics in Neural Basis of Behavior (F 10:30).  A305 CMH.                                                                                                     #1458