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  • PSYCHOLOGY 113    Section:


    Winter Quarter 2007

    Units: 4
    Prerequisites: Psychology, 1, 41, 101.
    Course Objectives

    You will become familiar with the basic ideas and methods of developmental psychobiology as an interdisciplinary science. The aim will be a better understanding of behavioral development through the integration of perspectives from both biology and psychology, including the relationships of evolution and genetics to development.

    What is Developmental Psychobiology?

    Developmental psychobiology concerns changes that take place over an individual's lifetime, but not all changes are developmental or of topical concern to psychology. Developmental changes are irreversible, require the active engagement of the individual in its own developmental organization, involve growth, and are emergent from conditions affecting earlier stages (e.g., genetics, environmental factors, previous stages of development). Topical phenomena for psychobiology in development include behavior, motivation, emotion, cognition , and learning. But, merely listing the characteristics of development and topics in psychobiology is far from a definition of developmental psychobiology.

    To achieve a deeper understanding we will begin by examining the complex concept of levels of organization and causation, issues in nature vs. nurture, and the synthetic perspective of epigenesis (i.e. a process of emergent development in which stage emerge from the conditions present in the previous stage including prior development up to that point, environmental factors, gene regulation and expression). An epigenetic perspective requires understanding complex issues of causation at multiple levels of organization and integrating information from multiple scientific disciplines including psychology, evolution, development, genetics.

    Course Requirements

    Attendance and Extra Credit

    Notes for the course are provided on the course web site. The notes cover the lectures in detail, but it is only in the context lecture and discussion that a good understanding of this material can be achieved. I have found in the past that providing detailed notes helps people to do well in this course provided that they also attend the lectures. Unfortunately, providing detailed notes leads some students to skip class and they end up not doing so well. So, 5% of your grade depend on your attendance.

    Midterm Exams

    There will be three midterm exams consisting of 40 multiple choice questions. Each exam will constitute approximately 23% of the course grade, which will depend on whether you want to drop one exam and take the final. There will be no make up tests because I drop the lowest exam (including the final). Thus, the final is optional.

    Final Exam

    The final exam will have the same format as the midterm exams, except that it will be comprehensive and consist of 40 multiple choice questions. It will constitute 23% of the course grade but need not be taken if you are satisfied with your grades on the three previous exams, in which case, your 3 midterm exam scores will count towards 70% of your course grade.


    The lab will consist of three main projects. The final project will be presented as a poster. Lab projects will be group projects put together by groups 3 students (2 or 4 students when the numbers do not add up). Everyone in a group will receive the same grade (provided they all contribute equally). Generally this is to the benefit of all in a group and results in higher lab grades. The first four projects will each contribute 50% to the total lab grade. The final project will constitute the other 50% of the grade. The lab grade itself will constitute 25% of the total course grade.


    Total grade = Exams (70%) + Lab Grade (25%) + Attendance (0 to 5 points)


    Textbook Information not Available Yet
    Classroom Class Schedule Course Website
    192 Young T R   9:00 AM - 10:20 AM http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/courses/Schank/
    Instructor Instructor Email Office Office Hours
    Jeffrey Schank , Ph.D. 268D Young Hall TTR 10:30-11:30AM, W 9:00-10:00AM