Class Hours: Fall 2010; Mondays at

8:00am -12:00am STEV 3028

Instructor: Michael DeBellis, Psy.D.


Office Hours: STEV 3092C;

Monday afternoons by appointment

Text: Biological Psychology:

An Introduction to Behavioral, Cognitive,

and Clinical Neuroscience, 4th, 5th or 6th Ed.

(Breedlove, Rosenzweig & Watson)

(Click on bold type topics for class notes)

Week 1 Functional Neuroanatomy 1

Week 2 Functional Neuroanatomy 2 & Presentation #1

Week 3 Neurophysiology & Presentation #2

Week 4 Chemical Bases of Behavior Presentation #3

Week 5 Sensory Processing Presentation #5

Week 6 Hearing, Vestibular Perception and Smell & Presentation #6

Week 7 Midterm Examination: Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9

Week 8 Vision & Presentation #7

Week 9 Motor Control and Plasticity  Presentation #8

Week 10 Emotions, Aggression & Stress Presentation #9

Week 11 Learning and Memory 1 & Presentation #10

Week 12 Spring Break (no class)

Week 13 Learning and Memory 2 & Presentation #11

Week 14 Psychopathology & Presentation #12

Week 15 Language & Cognition & Presentation #13

Week 16 Final Examination: Chapters 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18,19


1.Midterm: The midterm exam will consist of up to fifty multiple-choice questions from the first half of the semester.

2.Final Exam: The final exam will consist of up to fifty multiple-choice questions from the chapters covered during the second half of the semester.

3.Article presentation: Beginning in September, each student is required to spilt into teams of four in order to present articles relevant to the fields of biopsychology and neuropsychology; if we have time this semester, you may present an additional article for extra credit. This semester, we will probably do these in teams of three. With your team, you will have to summarize the article cited in our text, and present it to the class, clarifying any difficult points and encouraging class discussion. The way you do this is up to you. I can look over your presentation and give you comments/suggestions if you send it to me at least 2 days before class. Important things to include: a) Intro/what is this study about? b) How did they conduct the study (i.e., who were the subjects/what did they need to do, etc.)? c) What were the results and the authors’ conclusions? d) Your own reactions to the study (did you like it/not like it? was it well conducted? are you convinced by the findings? what should these or other researchers do next?). How well you convey the information and interact with your partner will be key. For this reason, I suggest you practice and keep the total presentation time under 30 minutes.  All journal articles should be cited in chapters covered in our text.

4.Attendance: At the beginning of each class a sheet will be passed across the room. You are expected to sign the sheet as proof that you attended the class.  For extra credit, you may also attend Dr. Mendius’ lecture, which is tentatively scheduled for November 9th and write a one page synopsis with your reactions or questions.


Your final grade will be the average of four separate grades: midterm (25%), final exam (25%); presentation (25%); and attendance (25%). 

Class Goals:

As much as ever before, understanding the foundations of biological psychology is important for those planning to pursue a career in the social sciences.  An understanding of such topics as neuroanatomy, medication, perception, neuropathology and philosophy of mind would be incomplete without basic knowledge in the area of physiological psychology. Regardless of where your career takes you, with training in this area, friends, colleagues and family will turn to you when they have questions that they believe pertain to this area.  Many have also developed an interest in advancing their understanding of biological psychology after taking this class.  This area is especially important for those taking the GRE in psychology.

Department Learning Goals

1. Be familiar with the major concepts, theories, and perspectives in psychology;

2. Be able to apply psychological theories, concepts and principles to individual experience as well as to broader social issues and social systems;

3. Be able to reflect on personal experience in the light of psychological knowledge;

4. Be able to recognize and understand the complexity of cultural diversity, in light of psychological knowledge;

5. Be able to understand and apply basic research methods in psychology and the social sciences;

6. Be able to demonstrate skills that promote behavioral change at the individual, organizational, and community levels.

Students with Special Needs:

If you are a student with special learning needs and you think you may require accommodations, your first step is to register with the campus office of Disabled Student Services, Salazar 1049, phone 664-2677. DSS will provide you with written confirmation of your verified disability and authorize recommended accommodations. You then present this recommendation to the instructor, who will discuss the accommodations with you.

University Policies:



  Physiological Psychology Syllabus