Permission courses (numbered 60-87) are limited in size and require permission. To ensure that all students approaching their senior year have access to these courses, the Department has designated the first week of May as a sign-up period for all of the following year’s laboratory courses and seminars. In this way, students can assure themselves access to these courses.
Beginning in May 1, 2008, all permission requests must be submitted via the <Permission Course Request Form> on the web. The Department will review all requests and grant permission based on availability. Although senior majors usually receive preference in all of these courses, they are not guaranteed permission in their first-choice course, because more senior majors may apply than room in a given course permits. For that reason, we also ask for alternative choices.
Students who have submitted requests will be notified of their permission status within two weeks of submitting the permission course request. A list of permitted students will be given to the Registrar. You do not need to obtain a signed card; however you do still need to enroll with the Registrar’s office (Banner).
If you are granted permission for a course, but choose not to enroll in that course your slot will be given to another student. You will need to submit another request for permission; the courses that still have available slots are likely to be more limited than in the initial enrollment period.
Students who do not obtain permission to enroll in Culminating courses that are needed to fulfill their major requirements risk not graduating. Special waivers will not be granted to students who fail to obtain needed permissions during this enrollment period. Students who wish to change their major to Psychology during their senior year will need to obtain permission to enroll in a culminating course before being allowed to declare.
Although our labs and seminars are typically populated by seniors, we realize that some students who will be juniors next year will want to enroll in these courses. These students should also request permission during the first week of May. However, they should realize that because these courses are a graduation requirement, priority will typically go to seniors.
(Consult the ORC for additional information on specific prerequisites for individual courses).
63. Experimental Study of Social Behavior
08F: 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. Permission of instructor.
80. Neural Basis of Consciousness
08F: 2A, Staff. The goal of this course is to develop an understanding of what consciousness is, and how it comes into existence through the activity of neurons in the nervous system. We will be focusing on the ancient mind/body problem, but will bring the new tools of modern neuroscience to bear on this age old puzzle. The puzzle is this: Neurons are publicly observable entities; Yet the subjective experience that their activity gives rise to is not publicly observable. Indeed, subjective experience appears to have properties that do not seem to be inherent to matter, such as redness, painfulness, and other 'qualia.' The puzzle is how seemingly different classes of events, one mental and the other physical, can both be realized in one and the same neuronal events. We will begin by focusing on some of the philosophical issues. We will then increasingly focus on the neuronal basis of subjective experience in light of the recent findings of modern neuroscience. Permission of instructor.
83. Psychology of Meaning
08F: 10A, Thalia Wheatley. This course explores one of the hallmarks of being human: trying to make sense of the world around us. The quest to understand and predict our environment manifests itself in daily, mundane ways as well as in a range of extra-worldly beliefs. We will integrate social, cognitive and neuropsychology as we examine how healthy and damaged brains fill in gaps, make assumptions and otherwise manipulate data to create a coherent conscious experience. Finally, we will debate the healthy and not-so-healthy implications of this need to make sense and find meaning in our lives. Permission of instructor.
87. Nature and Nurture
08F: 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
09W: 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
09W: 11, Howard Hughes. 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.
80. Face Perception: Cognitive, Neural, Computational, and Social Perspectives
09W: 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 instructor.
83. Non-Verbal Aspects of Social Interaction
09W: 10A and 2A, 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.
85. What Makes the Human Brain Human?
09W: 2A, Peter Tse. The goal of this course is to develop an understanding of how we came to exist as a species. In particular, this course will focus on how the human mind/brain came to be what it is today. Many traits and abilities set us apart from other animals. Some of what makes us human are mere differences in degree while others are differences in kind. Although there are many physical differences, the main differences that set us apart from the rest of the animal world are mental in nature. Among these differences are the existence of extensive symbolic processing, syntactic processing (language), humor, dance, music, the extent of tool use, and the wearing of clothing. Some physical traits that are highly unusual are near-hairlessness, bipedality, hidden ovulation, menopause (just us and pilot whales!), and a strong prevalence of right-handedness. There are also some other puzzling things that need explanation, such as the existence of homosexuality and schizophrenia, when the genes that may underlie a propensity for such outcomes should have a relatively low probability of propagation. We shall examine evidence from all quarters that will help us understand the course of our mind/brain evolution. Permission of instructor.
65. Physiology of Behavior
09S: 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. Prerequisite: Psychology 1 or 6 and 26 or Biology 34. Permission of instructor.
83. The Self
09S: 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: Psychology 1, 23, or permission of instructor.
84. Ability, Giftedness, Genius: the Psychology of High Achievement
09S: 10A, Rogers Elliott. This seminar will consider the nature and nurture of mental abilities, the different kinds of these, both general and special, and their social and economic implications. It will also examine abilities at the level of giftedness, particularly the meaning and development of giftedness in its many forms; and non-intellectual aspects of personality and temperament that contribute to high achievement. Permission of instructor.
Last Updated: 11/5/08