Adolescence and Drug Use (NESC 103)

Adolescence is a time of firsts, including (for many) their first experiences with drugs of abuse. This course focuses on the interaction between things that are happening within the body (e.g., hormonal changes associated with puberty, brain development) with outside factors (e.g. societal norms, peer pressure), to ultimately help explain the onset of drug use/abuse. Although this course will be approached from the human perspective, lecture and in-class discussions/activities will be informed by readings drawn from the human as well as non-human animal literature. Some understanding of basic biology and psychology is helpful, but not a prerequisite.

Neuroendocrinology (NESC 210)

Course description: This course will explore how the brain interacts with neuroendocrine/endocrine glands to control aspects of our physiology and behavior. The development, organization, and function of neuroendocrine systems underlying energy use and metabolism, growth and development, biological rhythms, stress and arousal, and reproduction will be examined. In order to facilitate a broad understanding of this field from its historical origins to present day findings, course materials will draw from textbook readings, review articles, and primary research articles. The associated laboratory will utilize surgical, pharmacological, behavioral and neuroanatomical techniques to examine the neuroendocrine regulation of reproduction using a rodent model of sexual behavior. Prerequisite: C- or better in Biology 183.

Neuroendocrinology Lab (NESC 210)

Course description: Introduction to Neuroendocrinology Laboratory This is an optional laboratory that supplements the lecture component of Introduction to Neuroendocrinology. This laboratory will highlight the specific mechanisms whereby hormones regulate reproductive system function and reproductive behaviors, using a rodent model of sexual behavior. A combination of surgical, pharmacological, behavioral and neuroanatomical approaches will be utilized to address this topic. Concurrent enrollment in NESC 210 lecture is required.

Hormones and Social Behavior (NESC 325)

Course description: This course will examine how hormones act within the brain to ultimately influence the expression of social behaviors. We will address how hormones drive the development and function of specific brain areas, with a particular focus on sex differences in these processes. We will consider a wide range of behaviors with implications for our social lives, including sexual attraction, bonding/affiliation, aggression, and social cognition, within the context of both normative and disease states. Although this course will be approached from the human perspective, discussions will be informed by primary research conducted in both human and non-human models. Consequently, course materials will draw upon primary research articles as well as assigned readings from the text. Prerequisite: C- or better in Neuroscience 201 or Psychology 261

Neuropsychopharmacology (NESC 364)

Course description: This seminar will examine how drugs act upon, amplify, and modify neural functions, ultimately affecting mood and behavior. It will provide an introduction to the principles of pharmacology and neurochemistry. An in-depth study of the brain and behavioral mechanisms of drugs of abuse, such as cocaine, heroin, LSD, and alcohol, and the neurobiology of addiction. Additionally, we will examine the effects of prenatal exposure to these drugs.

Principles of Neuroscience (NESC 201)

Course description: A team-taught introductory course in neuroscience that will examine the neuron and its biological interactions in animal nervous systems. Topics will include the anatomy, development, chemistry, and physiology of nervous systems. Prerequisite: C- or better in Biology 182 and 183 and Psychology 261 or Permission of Instructor.

Introduction to Neuroscience Methodology (NESC 301)

Course description: A laboratory course that will introduce the student to current methods and techniques used in neuroscience research. The course consists of three-week rotations in the laboratories of staff members. Among the topics to be covered will be radioligand binding assays, neurochemical assays, electrophysiology, psychobiological techniques, experiments in perception, and methods in cognitive science. This course is normally taken in the junior year.

Current Issues in Neuroscience (NESC 388)

This half-credit course considers current neuroscience research on topics ranging from clinical research to molecular biology. Students will attend presentations by neuroscience researchers and read and discuss pertinent research literature prior to each presentation. Some special scheduling arrangements will be necessary for activities outside of the regular class meeting time.