Psychological & Brain Sciences

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  • CAS PS 101: General Psychology
    Basic introduction to field of psychology; topics include theories and findings governing learning, memory, perception, development, personality, social and abnormal psychology. Three hours large lecture and one hour discussion section or three hours of small lecture class with no discussion sections. Students are required to participate as subjects in psychology studies. 4 cr. either sem. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry I, Critical Thinking. Effective Fall 2019, this course will fulfill a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry I, Critical Thinking, Ethical Reasoning.
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Ethical Reasoning
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS PS 211: Introduction to Experimental Design
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PS 101.
    Introduction to the logic and processes involved in descriptive and inferential statistics for psychology. Topics include statistical inference, significance, t-tests, ANOVAs, correlation, regression, and statistical software analysis. This is a hybrid class - class time is reserved for hands on activities. Does not count toward the principal courses required for the major or minor. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry II, Quantitative Reasoning I.
    • Scientific Inquiry II
    • Quantitative Reasoning I
  • CAS PS 212: Introduction to MATLAB Programming for Research in Psychological & Brain Sciences
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS NE 101 or CAS PS 101; , one semester of calculus; or consent of instructor.
    Teaches computer programming concepts, core statistical concepts, and related skills via MATLAB. Programming examples that cover four steps of neuroscience research (experiment control; random samples; data analysis; brain process simulation) promote "constructive" understanding of the quantitative reasoning behind decisions based on descriptive and inferential statistics (e.g., confidence intervals, linear regression models, model-specific anovas). Explains numerical integration programs in two settings: probability distributions, and simulations of neural dynamics. Does not count toward the principal courses required for the major or minor. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Quantitative Reasoning I, Critical Thinking.
    • Quantitative Reasoning I
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS PS 222: Perception
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PS 101.
    How do we perceive the world around us? In this course, we'll explore vision, hearing, touch, smell, and taste and find out how the brain constructs our perceptual experience from light, sound, pressure, and chemicals in the world. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry I, Critical Thinking.
    • Scientific Inquiry I
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS PS 231: Physiological Psychology
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PS 101.
    Students will receive credit for CAS PS 231 or CAS NE 101, but not for both. Structure and function of the nervous system and how it controls behavior. Basic neuroanatomy, cellular basis of neurotransmission and physiological aspects of sensation. Mechanisms of simple and complex cognitive neural function and the biological underpinnings of major psychiatric disorders. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry I, Social Inquiry I, Critical Thinking.
    • Scientific Inquiry I
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS PS 234: Psychology of Learning
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PS 101.
    How do we learn to associate stimuli together? How do we learn to associate behaviors with their consequences? How is memory applicable to learning? What are the different memory processes and systems responsible for learning? The aim of this course is to review the major traditional and current theories of learning and memory. Students will begin with an understanding of simple learning, including theories and basic principles of classical and operant conditioning. Students will then be introduced to the memory system, the three stages of memory, implicit and explicit memory processes. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry I, Social Inquiry I, Critical Thinking.
    • Scientific Inquiry I
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS PS 241: Developmental Psychology
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PS 101.
    Critical review of research and theories pertaining to intellectual and social development of infants and children. Role of early experiences and biological factors in later formation of personality, intellectual and motivational behaviors; theories include Erikson, Piaget, and Freud. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry I, Critical Thinking.
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS PS 251: Psychology of Personality: Theories and Application
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PS 101.
    The historical development of personality theories and their application to social, research, and clinical concerns are emphasized. Classic theories of personality (e.g., psychoanalytic, behavioral, humanistic, cognitive, and social roles) are explored and evaluated through lectures, readings, and case materials. A consideration of trait-based approaches and personality disorder with regards to DSM 5 criteria is also included. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Social Inquiry I, Critical Thinking.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS PS 261: Social Psychology
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PS 101.
    Provides an understanding of how behavior, feelings, and thoughts of individuals are influenced and determined by characteristics of the situation. Topics: attraction, attitudes, prejudice, social roles, aggression, person perception, and groups. Readings cover theories, experimental research, and application. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills units in the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry 1, Critical Thinking. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: The Individual in Community, Social Inquiry I, Critical Thinking.
    • Social Inquiry I
    • The Individual in Community
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS PS 324: Experimental Psychology: Developmental
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PS 101; CAS PS 211 or CAS MA 115 and CAS MA 116; CAS PS 241. First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 100 or WR 120)
    This course is designed to provide students with the skills necessary for designing, conducting, evaluating, and communicating developmental science research. The class is a combination of lecture and discussion of research issues and methods, activity-based sessions, and implementation of individual and class research projects. Students conduct their own research project in collaboration with the Early Education Learning Lab and write an empirical paper as the final project. By the end of this course, students should be able to think and write like research psychologists. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing- Intensive Course, Research and Information Literacy, Teamwork/Collaboration.
    • Research and Information Literacy
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • CAS PS 325: Experimental Psychology: Personality
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PS 101; CAS PS 211 or CAS MA 115 and CAS MA 116; CAS PS 251. First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 100 or WR 120)
    Systematic approaches to the study of personality. Experimental and observational investigations of selected aspects of personality. Demonstration of experimental procedures; student participation in laboratory and field studies. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing-Intensive Course, Research and Information Literacy, Teamwork/Collaboration.
    • Research and Information Literacy
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • CAS PS 326: Experimental Psychology: Social
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PS 101; CAS PS 211 or CAS MA 115 and CAS MA 116; CAS PS 261. First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 100 or WR 120)
    Supervised experience in formulating, carrying out, interpreting, and critically evaluating social-psychological research. Students conduct research on such topics as attraction, impressions and stereotypes, helping, aggression, conflict, etc. Variety of research techniques examined. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing-Intensive Course, Research and Information Literacy, Teamwork/Collaboration.
    • Research and Information Literacy
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • CAS PS 327: Experimental Psychology: Perception
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PS 101; CAS PS 211 or CAS MA 115 & CAS MA 116; and CAS PS 222.
    Introduces psychophysical methods and their use in the study of perceptual processes: Students learn to think critically about the relation between theory and experiment, conduct perception experiments, and write experimental reports. Also offered as CAS NE 327.
  • CAS PS 328: Experimental Psychology: Memory & Cognition
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PS 211; CAS PS/NE 212 (preferred) or CASMA115 and CASMA116; CAS PS 336 or CAS PS 339/NE 202; or consent of instructor.
    An overview of standard experimental paradigms and computational modeling approaches used in the study of memory and cognition. Methods are illustrated in the laboratory where students perform experiments using themselves as subjects and analyze and model their data using computers. Also offered as CAS NE 328.
  • CAS PS 329: Experimental Psychology: Cognitive Neuroscience
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CASPS211, PS/NE212 or MA115 & MA116; & PS231 (or consent of instructor); & PS339/NE202. First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 100 or WR 120)
    Laboratory course in human cognitive neuroscience. Emphasis on large-scale neural mechanisms of visual cognition using electrophysiological measurements of brain activity. Students critically engage with theories in psychological science, conduct cognitive neuroscience experiments, and learn to write experimental reports. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing-Intensive Course, Research and Information Literacy, Teamwork/Collaboration.
    • Research and Information Literacy
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • CAS PS 332: Behavioral Medicine
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: two principal courses in psychology, education, or a health-related discipline, or consent of instructor.
    Examines applications from the social and behavioral sciences and allied health professions as they are integrated in the practice of traditional medicine. Examples of interventional strategies, treatments, and procedures, including biofeedback and hypnosis.
  • CAS PS 333: Drugs and Behavior
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PS 101, and CAS PS 231 or CAS NE 101, and PS junior or senior standing; or consent of instructor.
    Comprehensive survey of drug influences on behavior; introduces a neuroscience approach to behavior. Several classes of drugs discussed, including abused and addictive substances and psychoactive and therapeutic agents. Also offered as CAS NE 333.
  • CAS PS 336: Introduction to Cognitive Psychology
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PS 101.
    Provides an introduction to basic topics and research issues relevant to cognitive psychology. Emphasis placed on understanding how we perceive, attend, and remember information. Related topics include language, problem solving, and intelligence.
  • CAS PS 337: Memory Systems of the Brain
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PS 231 or CAS BI 325; or consent of instructor.
    Survey of investigations into the brain systems and neurobiological mechanisms of memory. Includes experimental studies of amnesia in humans and experimental models of amnesia in animals. Focus on evidence for multiple forms of memory and distinct brain systems that mediate them. Also offered as CAS NE 337.
  • CAS PS 338: Neuropsychology
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PS 231 or CAS BI 325.
    Survey of theoretical aspects and major empirical findings in human neuropsychology, including memory, language, spatial function, attention, emotion, and abstract thought. Emphasis is on the relation between brain disorders (resulting from head injury, stroke, degenerative disease, etc.) and abnormal behavior. Also offered as CAS NE 338.