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Course Catalog
Courses Taught in NBB NBB Home

NBB Courses (SPRING 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 – FWS – Flocks, Swarms and Crowds – How Order Emerges Out of Chaos                         #17273 3 credits. Letter grades only. Permission of Knight Writing Program required. Enrollment limited to freshmen.  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 Synch and Honeybee Democracy.  Writing will engage various audiences while synthesizing course material, emphasizing logical flow and clarity in the writing process.  TR 1:25-2:40, Location.


BioNB 2220 – Introduction to Neuroscience                                                                 3 cr #4196; 4 cr #4197; 5 cr #4450 3-5 credits, variable.  Prerequisite: one year of college level biology for majors (comparative physiology and/or cell and developmental biology are recommended) and one year of chemistry. Priority is given to students studying neurobiology and behavior.  Not open to freshmen.  May be taken independently of BIONB 2210. Enrollment limited to: 15 students per 4-credit disc. Enrollment limited to: 12 students in 5-credit option. 4- or 5-credit option required of students in neurobiology and behavior program of study. 3 credits with no discussion section; 4 credits with one disc per week with problem sets and writing assignments (recommended); 5 credits with one or two disc per week and participation in Writing in the Majors program; students may not preregister for 5-credit option; interested students complete application form on first day of class. R. R. Hoy.  An introduction to neuroscience: the structure and function of the nervous system of humans and other animals. Topics include the cellular and molecular basis for cell signaling, the functions of neurons in communication and in decision making; neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, sensory systems, motor systems, neural development, learning and memory, and other complex brain functions. The course will emphasize how the nervous system is built during development, how it changes with experiences during life, how it functions in normal behavior, and how it is disrupted by injury and disease. Discussion sections will include a dissection of a preserved sheep brain.  MWF 12:20-1:10.  Location.

BioNB 3280 – Biopsychology of Learning and Memory                                                                                           #4497 3 credits.  Prerequisite: two majors-level biology courses and either a biopsychology course or BIONB 2220. Enrollment limited to: 60 students. Co-meets with PSYCH 6320.  T. J. DeVoogd.  For description, see PSYCH 3320. MWF 11:15-12:05.  Location.  
BioNB 3690 – Chemical Ecology                                                                                                                             #1854 3 credits.  Prerequisite: one majors-level biology course and one semester introductory chemistry for majors or nonmajors or equivalents, or permission of instructor. A University Course - this class highlights cross-disciplinary dialogue and debate.  A. Agrawal, A. Kessler, R. Raguso, J. Thaler.  For description and learning outcomes, see BIOEE 3690.   MWF 11:15-12:05.  Location.  
  BioNB 4140 – Principles of Pharmacology                                                                                                             #15395 3 credits.   Letter grades only.  Prerequisite: BIOAP 3110 or NS 3410. G. Weiland, C. Fewtrell, M. Linder.  For description and learning outcomes, see BIOAP 4140.  MWF 2:30-3:20.  Location.
BioNB 4250 – Molecular Neurophysiology                                                                                                             #15383 3 credits. Prerequisite: BIONB 2220 or permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to: 20 students.  D. P. McCobb.  The goal is to develop a broad understanding of electrical signaling in organismal tissues, to appreciate the diverse information processing capabilities of this modality in the human brain and as far beyond as plant tissues. By focusing on the principle proteins involved, ion channels (including those gated by voltage, neurotransmitters, temperature, pH, and many other factors), we will explore the evolutionary origins and diversification of this signaling modality, consider its role in sensory, motor, and regulatory function, behavioral plasiticity (e.g., learning), disease, and neural development. Format involves written and oral presentations, reviewing cutting edge research in the field, and proposing experiments.  TR 2:55-4:10.  Location.  
BioNB 4300 – Experimental Molecular Neurobiology                                                                                             #15382 4 credits.  Letter grades only.  Prerequisite: BIOMG 3300 or BIOMG 3310. Recommended prerequisite: BIOMG 2801. Enrollment limited to: 14 students. Lab Tuesday (for times see  D. L. Deitcher.  Experiments include PCR, cloning of DNA fragments, RNA purification, restriction digests, bacterial transformation, DNA sequencing, and protein interactions. Experiments emphasize how molecular techniques can be applied to studying neurobiological problems.  Location.

BioNB 4350 – Animal Cognition                                                                                                                            #15384

4 credits.  Letter grades only.  Prerequisite: BIONB 2210. Enrollment limited to: 30 students.  T. D. Seeley.  Examination of the mechanisms by which animals acquire, process, store, and act on information from the environment. Topics to be covered include perception, learning, memory, decision-making, with special attention to spatial cognition, numerical cognition, understanding of tool use, and social cognition.  TR 2:30-4:25.  Location.


BioNB 4370 – Neural Circuits of Motivated Behavior                                                                                             #16535

3 credits.  Letter grades only.  Prerequisite: BIONB 2220 or instructor consent. Enrollment limited to: 15 students.  M. R. Warden.  This class examines the neural circuits of reward and motivated behavior, and involves the critical reading and discussion of classic and contemporary papers in this subject.  Topics include neural processes related to reward, punishment, risk, effort, appetite, aggression, addiction, and depression.  TR 2:55-4:10.  Location.

BioNB 4460 – Plant Behavior – Induced Plant Responses to Biotic Stresses                                                          #15795

3 credits.  Prerequisite: BIOEE 1610 or permission of instructor.  A. Kessler, R. Raguso.  For description and learning outcomes, see BIOEE 4460.  MWF 2:30-3:20.  Location

BioNB 4530 – Speciation: Genetics, Ecology, and Behavior                                                                                   #15800

4 credits.  Prerequisite: BIOEE 1780 and BIOMG 2800 or equivalents, or permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to: 40 students.  R. Harrison, K. Shaw.  For description and learning outcomes, see BIOEE 4530.  TR 10:10-11:25.  Location.

BioNB 4910 – Principles of Neurophysiology                                                                      Lec #2530, M Lab #2531, T Lab #2532

4 credits.   Neurobiology and Behavior concentrators must take class for a letter grade.  Prerequisite: BIONB 2220 or written permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to: 24 students.  B. R. Johnson.  Laboratory-oriented course designed to teach the concepts and tools of cellular neurophysiology, including extracellular and intracellular electrophysiological techniques, and computer acquisition and analysis of laboratory results. Students explore signal transmission in the nervous system by examining the cellular basis of resting and action potentials, and synaptic transmission. Lecture time is used to introduce laboratory exercises and discuss results, to supplement laboratory topics, and to discuss primary research papers. Invertebrate preparations are used as model systems.  Lec MW 10:10-11:00.  Location.  Lab M or T 12:20-4:25, lab location B150 CMS.

BioNB 7210 – Introductory Graduate Survey in Neurobiology and Behavior                                                            #3066

2 credits. S-U grades only.  Corequisites: BIONB 2210 and BIONB 2220. Enrollment limited to: 20 students. 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 and BIONB 2220. Discussions of current research in the area of neurobiology or 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                                                                                                      #4084

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.  For description and learning outcomes, see BIOEE 7640.  TBA.



BioNB 4200, Lec 001 – Microcircuits of the Neocortex                                                                                            #15698

2 credits. S/U or Letter.  Prerequisite: BIONB 2220.  Limited to 15 students.  J.H. Goldberg.  The neocortex lies at the surface of mammalian brains and is critical for sensation, motor planning, cognition and consciousness. It has an insanely complex internal structure, with at least six distinct layers and dozens of unique cell types. Recent optical and genetic tools in neuroscience have made long elusive aspects of cortical function increasingly tractable. In this course, students will read and present recent contributions from the primary literature.  W, 2:55-4:10, W364 CMH

BioNB 4200, Lec 002 – Frontiers in Neuroscience                                                                                                  #15699

2 credits. S/U grades only.  Prerequisite: BIONB 2220 or permission of instructor.  Limited to 15 students.  K. McArthur.  Announced in 2013, the BRAIN Initiative will bring together neuroscientists and technological innovators to advance our understanding of how the human brain really works. What are the big questions that we will be able to answer with these new methodological approaches?  How can these advances in understanding be translated into improved prevention and treatment of mental illness and neurological disease?  In this course, students will learn more about model systems and cutting-edge technology used to ask questions at the frontiers of neuroscience, guided by primary literature and in-class discussions.  Students will also evaluate neuroscientific research in the context of public policy and the need for clinically relevant neuroscience.  Grading will be based on participation in class discussions, and each student will be expected to lead discussion at least once during the semester. For each topic, we will discuss current findings in basic science, related technological breakthroughs, and the clinical and ethical implications.  Sample topics include the use of modern imaging to study neuronal morphology and protein localization, and how optogenetics allows us to probe the relationship between aberrant neural activity and disease.  M, 2:55-4:10, W364 CMH.

BioNB 4200, Lec 003/7200, Lec 001  – Sexual Selection and Macroevolution                     Undergrads #15821; Grad Students #15939

2 credits.  S/U or Letter.  Prerequisite: BIONB 2210.  Limited to 15 students.  M.S. Webster.  Considerable research has focused on sexual selection at the microevolutionary scale — for example, studies on the function of male ornaments or the benefits of female mating preferences. Yet sexual selection also is likely to affect mating interactions between populations, and so may have important macroevolutionary consequences that shape broad patterns of biodiversity. In this topics course we will explore the effects of sexual selection on phenomena such as reproductive isolation, speciation, hybridization, radiation, extinction, and interspecific coevolution. Discussions will be based primarily on readings from the primary literature, and most will be student led.  R, 8:40-9:55, W364 CMH.

BioNB 4200, Lec 004/7200, Lec 002 – Topics in Behavioral Endocrinology: Evolution and Development of Hormone-Behavior Relationships                                                                                                                                  Undergrads #16883; Grad Students #16884

2 credits.  S/U or Letter.  Prerequisite: Senior status for undergraduates.  Limited to 15 students.  E. Adkins-Regan.  For description and learning outcomes, see PSYCH 4390/7390.  W 10:10-12:05.

BioNB 4200, Lec 005 – Vision and Art                                                                                                                    #17471

1 credit. S/U or Letter.  Prerequisite: None.  Limited to 12 students.  H.C. Howland.  This seminar will explore the relationship berween our visual system and objects of art.  We will trace the information in the retinal image from eye to cortex, and examine ;how that image is parsed, transformed and interpreted, resulting in our conscious impressions of it.  R, 3:35-4:25, W364 CMH.


BioNB 7201 – Research Design in the Study of Animal Social Behavior (Lunch Bunch - T 12:20)                                               #2534

BioNB 7202 – Topics in Neural Basis of Behavior (F 10:30)                                                                                              #2535


NOTE: Post-A NBB grads: Please register for Grad Dissertation Research GRAD 9001, RSC 701                         #13154 or #13152


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