PG 683

Biological Bases of Behavior

Syllabus

Winter, 2000

Course:

 

Biological Bases of Behavior (PG 683)

Quarter:

 

Winter, 2000

Meeting Times:

 

Tuesday, Thursday, 13:00 - 15:30

Location:

 

Room 210 Thach Hall

Instructor:

 

Christopher Newland, Ph.D.

 

 

110 Thach.

844-3295

newlamc@auburn.edu

Text:

 

Carlson, N. R. (1998) Physiology of Behavior. 6th edition. Boston: Allyn and Bacon

 

 

 

 

 

Julien, R.M. (1998) A Primer of Drug Action. 8th edition. New York: W. H. Freeman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Selected Readings to be made available

 

Web Address:

 

http://www.duc.auburn.edu/~newlamc/newland

 



Overview and Course Objectives. This course will cover some relationships between the brain and behavior. My goal is to introduce the material and prepare you to go further with it, as the opportunities arise. We will cover the basic foundations and how they contribute to our understanding of specific systems (e.g., motor function, learning) or sets of problems (e.g., behavior disorders or substance abuse). I trust that you already know something about how behavior is organized. We will cover the structure of the nervous system, the different dimensions along which structure falls (e.g., physical, chemical), the function of different components of the central nervous system, motor systems, the fundamental units of the nervous system (the neuron and the synapse), and the neurobehavioral bases of selected behavior disorders. Then we will do a brief survey of some basic issues in psychopharmacology. This will include the concept of the dose-effect curve, the time course of drug action, new drug development, substance abuse, and the psychopharmacology of drugs in one or two clinical classes as time permits. This will go much of the way towards Level I psychopharmacology education, as defined by the APA.

This is not simple material, especially the first time through, and we will go fast, but it is within reach. I advise you to come to class prepared and to resist mightily the temptation to procrastinate. Read the assignment once before class, perhaps in one sitting. The first reading need not be to memorize details but rather to get an overview of what is in the chapter. Keep up with the material as we go through it in class. Read the chapter before quizzes and that reading should be for detail. I advise that when reading the chapter the second time you pause at the end of each section and summarize it using words and complete sentences. Pretend you are teaching it to someone else and, using the correct terms and experiments, explain what was in the chapter.



By the end of the quarter you should:

--- Be able to describe the major features of the brain and spinal cord.

--- Understand the action potential of neurons and the important events that take place in the synapse.

--- Understand how synaptic events contribute to our understanding of drugs and of some behavioral disorders.

--- Describe the major effector systems associated with movement.

--- Have an appreciation of how behavior and the other neurosciences jointly contribute to our understanding brain/behavior relationships.

--- Have an appreciation of behavior and the nervous system fit into the broader context offered by our understanding of evolution by natural selection.

--- Understand some of the basic principles of pharmacology, such as the role of dose, the concept of the receptor, and interpretation of dose-response curves.

--- Understand the neuro- and behavioral pharmacology of some of the common classes of behaviorally active drugs.

--- Appreciate the fundamental concept of the reinforcing action of some classes of drugs, and the scientific and clinical implications of this discovery.



Evaluation. Your grade from this section will be an average taken from three quizzes.



Course Structure. The course (and quizzes) will be centered around the textbook and readings. Class time will be used partly to cover material from the textbook, especially material that might be difficult to get from the book alone. For this I will need your help in letting me know what parts of the book you find difficult. I also hope to use some class time to extend the discussion in the textbook either to cover a topic in a little more depth or to discuss a point raised by the authors.



Academic Honesty. Cheating is theft and a betrayal of the good-faith required for higher education to function. It will not be tolerated but will be dealt with according to the policies established in the Tiger Cub. You are expected to do your own work on quizzes but, of course, you may study together for quizzes.



Make available: schuster, higgins, behaviorally augmented tolerance

PG 683: Biological Bases of Behavior

Lecture Schedule: Winter, 2000

Date

#

Topic

Assignment.

4 Jan

1

Origins of neuroscience, reductionism, cells of the nervous system.

C: Chapter 1, 2-p 32.

Marr: Issues in Reductionism.

6 Jan

2

Cells. Ion channels. Chemical Transmission.

C: Chapter 2.

11 Jan

3

Chemical transmission.

Structure and development.

C: Chapter 3.

13 Jan

4

Psychopharmacology

C: Chapter 4.

18 Jan

5

Psychopharmacology. Methods in Neuroscience.

C: Chapter 5.

20 Jan

6

Quiz 1. (One hour).

Sensory function: General principles.

C: Chapter 6.

25 Jan

7

The retina.

C: Chapter 6.

27 Jan

8

Color, form and motion.

C: Chapter 6.

1 Feb

9

Control of Movement.

C: Chapter 8.

3 Feb

10

Sleep and biological rhythms.

C: Chapter 9.

8 Feb

11

Biological clocks. Eating.

C: Chapter 9, 13.

10 Feb

12

Eating.

C: Chapter 10. Corwin et al. (1990)

15 Feb

13

Quiz 2. (1 hour).

Learning and memory.

C: Chapter 14

17 Feb

14

Learning and memory

C: Chapter 14.

22 Feb

15

Psychopharmacology: General issues

Behaviorally mediated tolerance.

Julien, Chapter 1; Schuster et al. (1966). Siegal et al., 1982.

24 Feb

16

Drug abuse: self-administration

J: Chapter 5; 14; C: Chapter 19; Pickens and Thompson (1968); Higgins et al.

29 Feb

17

Affective disorders: schizophrenia.

C: Chapter 17 J: Chapter 9

2 Mar

18

Affective disorders: depression.

C: Chapter 17; J: Chapter 7

7 Mar

19

Genetics and substance abuse.

Behavioral toxicology.

Chapter 19. Weiss, 1997

9 Mar

20

Overflow

 

16 Mar

 

QUIZ 3: Final Exam Period: 5:00-7:30

 

 

 

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Last modified: January 10, 2000