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Course Catalog
Courses Taught in NBB NBB Home

NBB Courses (Spring 2016)

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

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


BIONB 2220 – Introduction to Neuroscience                                                         
3 cr #3603; 4 cr #3604
3-4 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. 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 with problem sets and writing assignments (recommended). R. M. Harris-Warrick, Staff. 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
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
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. Kessler, A. Agrawal, R. Raguso, J. Thaler.  For description and learning outcomes, see BIOEE 3690.   MWF 11:15-12:05.  Location.

BIONB 4140 – Principles of Pharmacology
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 4260 – Animal Communication

4 credits.  Letter grades only.  Prerequisite: BIONB 2210. Enrollment limited to: 50 students. Discussion TBA.  M. S. Webster.  Communication is the “glue” that holds societies together. This course examines how and why animals communicate. Topics include the role of the environment in shaping animal signals, whether animals tell the truth to each other, why some bird songs are simple and others complex, and what kinds of signals might be exchanged between species.  TR 8:40-9:55.  Location.


BIONB 4300 – Experimental Molecular Neurobiology 
4 credits.  Letter grades only.  Prerequisite: BIOMG 3300 or BIOMG 3310. Recommended prerequisite: BIOMG 2801. Enrollment limited to: 16 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.  Lab: 302 Wing Hall.  Lec: TBA. 

BIONB 4330 – Topics in Cognitive Science: Imagination and Creativity  
4 credits.  Letter grades only.  Prerequisite: COGST 3140 or COGST 6140. S. Edelman, H. Segal.  For description, see COGST 4130.  M 2:00-4:25.  Location.


BIONB 4910 – Principles of Neurophysiology                                                
Lec #2176, M Lab #2177, T Lab #2178
4 credits.   Prerequisite: BIONB 2220 or written permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to: 24 students. Neurobiology and Behavior concentrators must take class for a letter grade.  B. R. Johnson.  Laboratory-oriented course designed to teach the concepts and tools of cellular neurophysiology through hands-on experience with 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 review nervous system physiology, introduce laboratory exercises, discuss lab results and primary research papers, and for presentation of additional experimental preparations and methods. 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 4970 – The Brain – Its Evolution and Development 
3 credits. Prerequisite: BIONB 2220 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to: 50 students. Intended for juniors, seniors, and graduate students.  I. Ballagh, A. H. Bass.  How does the brain evolve? One of the fastest-growing areas of study in neuroscience is the evolution of developmental mechanisms that have shaped the remarkable diversity in brain organization observed among vertebrates. This lecture course will consider the evolutionary and developmental origins (“evo-devo”) of vertebrate brains from phylogenetic, molecular, anatomical, physiological, and behavioral perspectives. Topics include the evo-devo of brain regions such as the cerebral hemispheres and brainstem; sensory systems ranging from olfaction to vision and hearing; motor systems for posture, locomotion and speech; and mechanisms of social and sexual plasticity.   TR 2:55-4:10.  Location. 

BIONB 7000 – Introduction to Programming for Research in Neurobiology and Behavior
4 credits.  S/U grades only.  Permission of instructor required. Enrollment limited to: 10 students.  C. Linster.  Lab course offering an introduction to programming in Matlab with a focus on neurobiology and behavior. Modeling, data acquisition, signal processing and data analysis.  Day/Time TBA.  Location.



BIONB 7640 – Plant-Insect Interactions Seminar
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.  Location.


BIONB 4200, Lec 001 – Methods and Principles in Bioacoustics 
2 credits.  Prerequisites: Background in biology, physics, mathematics and computer science preferred but not required.  Limited to 14 students.  J. Dowling, A. Rice.  Animals live in a world of sound. In ecosystems around the planet, acoustic signals serve many functions, from mediating social interactions to helping find elusive prey. This hands-on, multidisciplinary course will introduce students to the principles of bioacoustics and methods used to answer questions in this field. The course will consist in part of lectures and discussions, during which students will participate in an in-depth exploration of the physical properties of sound. We use this foundation in physical acoustics to explore and understand how sounds are produced and perceived, and the behavioral contexts in which sounds are used. The majority of the course will consist of laboratory demonstrations where students learn to record, synthesize, and analyze sounds. We will use digital recorders and a variety of software programs, each designed for different bioacoustics questions, including those regarding physical characteristics of acoustic signals, comparisons between signals, and computer detection of sound. Labs are designed around the lecture material and provide practical real-world exercises designed to stimulate discovery of fundamental principles described in lectures. We will also examine how bioacoustics can be used as a tool in the fields of applied ecology and conservation biology. Students will be guided through research projects where they will develop relevant hypotheses for addressing unanswered questions in bioacoustics, test those hypotheses in the field (or with existing data), analyze data, and report findings, with the goal of producing a publishable manuscript. Students with interests in engineering, music, linguistics, audio analysis, digital signal processing, and computer science, in addition to biology, are encouraged. T 10:10am-12:05pm, Location.

BIONB 4200, Lec 002 – Gender and the Brain
2 credits.  Prerequisites: Junior, senior or graduate standing: BIONB 2220 or BIOBM 3320 or by permission of instructor.  Limited to 15 students.  S. Dietz.  In this course, we will delve into the neuroscience of gender difference.  Reading the original scientific papers, we will ask whether we can find measureable physical differences in male and female brains, and what these differences might be.  Do men and women solve spatial puzzles differently, as measured physiologically?  Do nonhuman animals display sex-specific behaviors mediated by brain structure, and can we extrapolate these findings to human behavior?  Are there physical representations of sexual orientation in the brain, and how are these related to gender identity?  And how are scientific studies represented and misrepresented in popular debate?  In each class period we will read original scientific literature and discuss how the design and execution of the studies may have influenced the outcomes they measured.  We will also read news and opinion articles based on the science we are discussing.  Students will take turns presenting papers and leading the class discussion.  The instructor will give short lectures on the techniques used in upcoming papers to supplement the assigned reading.  Grading will be equally weighted between class participation, paper presentations, and a final writing assignment.  M 7:30-8:45pm, W358 CMH.


BIONB 7201 – Research Design in the Study of Animal Social Behavior (Lunch Bunch - T 12:20).  W358 CMH.                             #2180



BIONB 7202 – Topics in Neural Basis of Behavior (F 10:30).  A305 CMH.                                                                                                     #2181



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


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