TERM: 2021-22 Winter
COURSE TITLE: Brain and Behavior
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3 (hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
CALENDAR DESCRIPTION: A study of the relation between biology and behavior in humans. Topics include mind/brain issues, brain development, genes and behavior, structure and function of the nervous system, brain disorders, biopsychology of motivated disorders, drug abuse and lateralization. Foundational issues as well as biological details will be emphasized.

Prerequisites: One of BIOL 200, 210, 211, PSYC 250 or 251

Same as BIOL 364.

What does biology have to do with psychology? Some suggest that we are nothing but biological machines that contain a complicated computer called the brain. Others see the body-brain as an essential aspect of our nature along with other equally essential aspects such as agency and meaning-making, relationship and community. In this course we will examine what an understanding of our biology can and also cannot tell us about human experience and behaviour. We’ll explore how biological psychologists and neuroscientists study the links between body and behaviour. We’ll also build on some basic knowledge about the structure, development, function and plasticity of the body, especially the brain, to explore the implications of this knowledge for topics such as brain injury and disease, sleep, mood, stress, sex, hunger, and/or language. Throughout, you will be encouraged to think critically about biological determinism, and to celebrate our embodied nature and the complex interactions between body, mind, environment, culture, & behaviour.
REQUIRED TEXTS: Kalat, James W., Biological Psychology. 13th edition. ISBN: 9781337408202
Online quizzes 10%
Written Assignment 15 or 30%
Midterm 30 or 37.5%
Final (non-cumulative) 30 or 37.5%
The ranges are due to your choice to do one or two written assignments. Each written assignment is worth 15%. If you do two written assignments then the exams will be worth 30% each; if you do one written assignment then the exams will be worth 37.5% each.
  • Articulate knowledge of the basic controversies in, and challenges of, a biological perspective on human experience and behaviour, including questions of mind-soul/body-brain, localization versus whole-brain/network models of brain function, plasticity versus stability, biological determinism and reductionism.
  • Critique media reports of neuroscientific research in light of knowledge of research methods as well as common distortions and limitations of interpretations of this research.
  • Define and use the language of neuroanatomy and physiology to label brain structures and systems, describe neural function (resting potential, action potential, synaptic communication).
  • Apply the language and concepts of neuroanatomy, physiology, and development to explain the impact of experiences, natural healing processes, drugs, and rehabilitation on the brain and related behaviour.
  • Describe and explain basic methods of brain/behaviour research, including which method is appropriate for which type of question, as well as the limitations of these methods and how those limitations affect interpretation of the results.
  • Apply and expand basic knowledge of neural systems and their interaction with environments to specific topic areas that might include: sleep/circadian rhythms, memory, emotions, language, consciousness, hunger/eating, empathy, etc.

The King's University
Maintained By Glenn J Keeler