63. Experimental Social Psychology
09F: 11, Catherine Norris. This course deals with the ways in which social psychologists collect data to answer questions about motivation, social cognition, and interpersonal behavior. Theoretical issues and methodological problems are dealt with in class discussions, laboratories, and small group research projects on selected topics.
65. Systems Neuroscience with Laboratory
09F: 10, Yoder. The primary focus of this course is the physiological basis of behavior. Such topics as localization of function, neural models, and the physiological bases of sensory/motor systems, learning/memory, spatial cognition, and emotion are considered. The laboratory introduces the student to the anatomy and physiology of the mammalian central nervous system and to some of the principal techniques used in behavioral neuroscience. The laboratory section will be held during a 3.5-hour period on Tuesday afternoons. Students are strongly advised to receive permission for enrolling in the course during the sign up period as there is limited space in the class and it normally fills up. Permission is obtained through filling out a form on the PBS Dept. website (http://www.dartmouth.edu/~psych/undergrad/). Prerequisite: Psych 1 or 6 and 26 or Biology 34 and permission of the instructor.
80. Face Perception: Cognitive, Neural, Computational, and Social Perspectives
09F: 2A, James Haxby. Face perception is one of the most highly developed visual skills and plays a central role in social communication. This seminar will take a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding face perception, covering cognitive, neural, and computational models for how face perception systems are structured in the human and nonhuman primate brain and in machine vision. Requirements will be a mid-term exam and a seminar paper. Permission of the instructor.
81. The Self
09F: 2A, Todd Heatherton. A unitary sense of self that exists across time and place is a central feature of human experience. Understanding the nature of self-what it is and what it does-has challenged scholars for many centuries. Although most people intuitively understand what is meant by the term self, definitions have tended toward the philosophical and metaphysical. Efforts at creating more formal definitions have largely been unsuccessful, as many features of self are empirically murky, difficult to identify and assess using objective methods. Yet the phenomenological experience of self is highly familiar to everyone. So, at issue is not whether the self exists, but how best to study it. This course will survey contemporary approaches to understanding the self, with a strong emphasis on approaches from social psychology. We will consider self's development, its cognitive and affective components, motives related to it, and how it is regulated. We will consider its functional basis, examining both its adaptive and maladaptive consequences. We will also examine its neurological basis, including case studies of people with disorders of self. Prerequisites: Psych 1, 23, or permission of instructor.
83. The Social Psychology of Health Behavior
In 09F: 10A, Frederick Gibbons. This seminar will focus on psychosocial factors related to health behavior andhealth status. We will examine interpersonal / social processes, such as racial discrimination and social comparison, and cognitive processes, such as risk perceptions, stereotyping, and attitude change. We will explore how these processes affect behaviors that are health-promoting, such as nutrition and exercise, and health-impairing, including substance abuse and risky sexual behavior. We will apply various social psychological theories and principles (e.g., reasoned action, implicit attitude formation) to the study of these behaviors. There will be a mid-term exam and a paper; a version of the latter will be presented in class. Class participation is expected.
87. Nature and Nurture
09F: 10A, Catherine Cramer. One of the continuing discussions of our era is whether differences between individuals can be attributed to inherent characteristics or to environmental influences, in other words, the nature-nurture debate. We will examine writings representing the spectrum of arguments, particularly those taking modern combinatorial or interactionist positions. Analyses of both animal and human behaviors will be included. Students will select a particular behavioral domain of interest to them and review current information about the sources of variation in that behavior. Permission of instructor.
60. Principles of Human Brain Mapping with fMRI
10W: 2A, William Kelley. This course is designed to introduce students to the theoretical and practical issues involved in conducting functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments of cognitive and behaviorally-related brain activity. Participants will gain an understanding of the physiological principles underlying the fMRI signal change, as well as the considerations for experimental design. The course will include firsthand exposure to the scanning environment and data collection procedures. Participants will be provided conceptual and hands-on experience with image processing and statistical analysis. At the completion of this course, it is expected that participants will be prepared to critique, design, and conduct fMRI studies; appreciate limitations and potentials of current fMRI methods and techniques; and better understand the broad range of expertise required in an fMRI research program. The course is designed to provide the participant with intensive, hands-on instruction. As a result, enrollment in the course will be limited to 20 people. Knowledge of MR physics, signal processing, or the UNIX/Linux operating system is not a prerequisite.
64. Sensory Psychology with Laboratory
10W: 11, Peter Tse. This course covers advanced topics in the scientific study of the human senses. It is a continuation of Psychology 21 (Perception). The emphasis is on human vision and hearing, and students will perform experiments that illustrate important principles of our senses as well as the methods used in perceptual science. Laboratory topics include (but are not limited to) the anatomy of the eye, binocular vision, movements of the eyes, and aspects of sound perception. Prerequisites: Psychology 21 or another course approved by the instructor and permission from the instructor.
81. Perceptual Development
10W: 2A, Ming Meng. Understanding how the human brain learns to perceive objects is one of the fundamental challenges in neuroscience. This seminar will cover topics of
infants' perceptual development as well as neural plasticity in adolescents and adults. Case studies of atypical visual development will also be discussed. Students are expected to review current trends in perceptual development literature. In class discussions, a mid-term exam and a seminar paper will be required. Prerequisites: Psych 21 and permission of the instructor. No description available at this time.
83. Non-Verbal Aspects of Social Interaction COURSE CLOSED
10W: 10A, Robert Kleck. The seminar will focus on the nonverbal and paraverbal dimensions of human communication. Particular attention will be given to research which has examined the role of gaze behavior, facial expressions of emotion and appearance cues in social relationships. Video records of social interaction will be used to demonstrate and illustrate the various ways in which nonverbal behaviors play an important role in interpersonal dynamics. A mid-term exam, a seminar paper and participation in class discussions are the mechanisms through which the student's mastery of the seminar materials is assessed.
65. Systems Neuroscience with Laboratory
10S: 10, Jeffrey Taube. The primary focus of this course is the physiological basis of behavior. Such topics as localization of function, neural models, and the physiological bases of sensory/motor systems, learning/memory, spatial cognition, and emotion are considered. The laboratory introduces the student to the anatomy and physiology of the mammalian central nervous system and to some of the principal techniques used in behavioral neuroscience. Laboratories are scheduled for a 3.5-hour period on Tuesday morning or afternoons; students will be assigned to one of these two laboratory sections. Students are strongly advised to receive permission for enrolling in the course during the sign up period as there is limited space in the class and it normally fills up. Permission is obtained through filling out a form on the PBS Dept. website (http://www.dartmouth.edu/~psych/undergrad/). Prerequisite: Psych 1 or 6 and 26 or Biology 34 and permission of the instructor.
81. Neural Basis of Volition and Mental Causation
10S: 2A, Peter Tse. Our goal in this new seminar will be to understand to what extent we are truly free in our choices and actions, in light of what can be learned from the brain and behavioral sciences. What we learn will shed surprising light on the human condition*. We will ask and try to answer deep questions that have puzzled philosophers and scientists for millenia. For example, how can we have a will that is in any meaningful sense free, when our volition, actions, thoughts, and choices must all be realized in the activity of neurons, which are themselves subject to physical laws? Is free will then a mere illusion? If so, in what sense is it illusory? Are we in fact entirely determined by the physical events in our body, much like machines or computers? If so, why do we have the sense that we can make choices freely? Or, if we can indeed select from multiple possible courses of thought or action at any time, what are the parameters that constrain our ability to do so? This course examines the neural and psychological bases of what we perceive as our ability to determine our own physical and mental activity, inhibit unwanted actions and thoughts, and make choices freely. We will begin with a philosophical examination of that aspect of the mind-body problem that addresses how mental events can ever cause physical events, when those mental events themselves must be physically realized. We will then address the issue of will from many angles, but with a special emphasis on the work of Benjamin Libet and more recent, fascinating work in Psychology and Neurophysiology. There will be an emphasis on reading original scientific articles on volition. This course is open to seniors and juniors with precedence given to seniors who are Psychology or Neuroscience majors. (*Note, however, that we will not focus on either legal or moral aspects of the question of free choice or responsibility).
83. Attitudes and Persuasion COURSE CLOSED
10S: 2A, Catherine Norris. Red Sox vs. Yankees, Clinton vs. Obama, Coke vs. Pepsi - we all hold strong beliefs and attitudes about the objects and people we encounter in the world. This course will examine how these beliefs are formed and changed, as well as how they influence our behavior in daily life. Given that in 1935 Gordon Allport, the father of attitudes, defined an attitude as "a mental and neural state of readiness", we will integrate social psychological and neuroscience research to better understand how attitudes function. Examples will be drawn from marketing and advertising, politics, and the history of racial prejudice in America as we explore the broad impact of attitudes on our lives.
84. Psychology and Law
10S: 2A, Rogers Elliott. The course will cover certain topics about which psychological theory and data are adduced to affect the deliberations of courts, juries, and other fact-finding or policy-making bodies. Among these topics is the issue of the place of psychological science in the law, illustrated by considering two questions: First, whether psychologists whose expertise is in the field of eyewitness testimony should testify in eyewitness cases; and second, whether attitudes toward the death penalty affect jury decision-making in capital cases. Then we will consider the psychology of sex differences and several issues concerning occupational segregation, pay differentials, sexual harassment, Title IX, etc. Finally, we will choose from among such topics as the accuracy of memory for legally relevant events like abuse, and the relation between neuropsychology and legal concepts of free will and intent.
86. Prefrontal Cortex and Executive Control
10S: 10A, Jerald Kralik. The prefrontal cortex carries out processes collectively called executive control, which orchestrates the activities of other brain systems and underlies some of our most sophisticated cognitive capacities. Executive control allows us to solve unfamiliar problems and plan far in advance. It balances our more primitive drives with thoughtfulness and tempers impulsivity with patience. Through executive control, we are better able to single out important details, produce sensible solutions, and transfer knowledge among domains. In this course we study the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying executive control, including attention, emotion regulation, and the resulting interplay between the prefrontal cortex and older brain systems.
Last Updated: 2/19/10