Introduction to Biopsychology and Neuroscience

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This course is under review for 2021. Course registration will open to accepted students once courses are confirmed.

Course Description

The primary objective of this course is to gain a strong knowledge foundation in the organization and function of the nervous system. Throughout the course, we will explore the various methods and theories that begin to explain both normal and abnormal human behavior. Throughout this course, we will cover a broad range of topics in biopsychology including basic neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, an overview of neurons and their function, and how the nervous system is influenced by various pharmacological agents. We will also examine neurological disorders and promising treatments.

This course will provide an introduction to biological psychology, which includes the scientific study of the structure and function of the nervous system, the development and evolution of neural and behavioral systems, and interactions among physiology, behavior, environment, and genetics. At the end of this course, students will have learned about the biological basis of behavior and will have received a foundation in what is currently known and understood about the biological basis of emotion, mental illness, sensation and perception, the impact of substance use on the brain, and many neuro-psychiatric disorders. In addition, students will acquire a basic understanding of neuron structure and function, will be able to identify numerous neurotransmitters and their actions, and will gain knowledge on commonly misused drugs and their impact on the brain.

The format of this one-week course will include lectures, and video presentations. Through reading, researching, and discussing information on a variety of topics, students will acquire knowledge concerning the fundamental physiological mechanisms and principles that govern human behavior. Students will lead and engage in discussions on multiple topics pertaining to neuroscience and biopsychological research. Individual and small group assignments will include readings, quizzes, and social media assignments. Students will also participate in active learning exercises (i.e., class discussion, activities, short papers, presentations) and will ultimately be expected to apply their critical thinking skills and knowledge towards completion of a final research paper.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1. Identify basic brain structures and functional neural systems
2. Describe the process of signaling between nerve cells and the impact on behavior
3. Understand the role of various neurotransmitters in the etiology and treatment of various psychopathologies such as, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders
4. Describe the functional neurological changes that occur in major neurological diseases and disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Multiple Sclerosis
5. Use scientific terminology appropriately in reference to biology and behavior
6. Engage in scientific academic inquiry to explore personal and current interest topics

Prerequisites: None required. This course is an introduction to biopsychology and neuroscience.

Course Information

  • Course Code: CEBN0934
  • Length: 1 week

Program Information

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Brown’s Pre-College Program in the liberal arts and sciences, offering over 200 non-credit courses, one- to four-weeks long, taught on Brown’s campus. For students completing grades 9-12 by June 2021.

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