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  • PSYCHOLOGY 123    Section:


    Spring Quarter 2009

    Units: 3
    Prerequisites: Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior 101 and either course Psychology 101 or NPB 102.

    Behavioral endocrinology is the study of the interrelated effects on hormones and behavior and vice versa.  PSC 123 (NPB 152) will explore these interactions with an emphasis on proximate (mechanistic) causes in an evolutionary and ecological (ultimate) context.  The general conceptual framework used throughout the course will center on the organizational and activational effects of hormones on development and expression of behavior. We will begin the course with an overview of the endocrine system, including the main endocrine glands, the general classes of hormones as well as specific hormones that are particularly important in behavior, the mechanisms of action of hormones, hormones receptors, and target tissues.  We will also cover the main methods used in studying behavioral endocrinology.  Building on that background, we will go on to cover a number of specific topics.  Hormones play particularly important roles in sexual differentiation (both anatomically and behaviorally), so we will spend a significant amount of time discussing that.  Other topics to be addressed include male and female reproductive behavior, affiliative and aggressive behavior, and effects of stressors on development and expression of behavior.  There also will be several lectures (some of them guest lectures) that develop specific study systems in more detail, such as the role of gonadal and adrenal steroids in wild golden lion tamarins, and the interplay among environmental stressors, the glucocorticoid stress response, and behavior in seasonally breeding birds.  When appropriate we will draw parallels between animal models and human systems.


    Course Requirements and Grading

    The grade will be based on 3 midterms and a final exam.  Further details will be available on the first day of class.


    Book Title: An Introduction to Behavioral Endocrinology
    Author: Randy J. Nelson
    Copyright Year: 2005
    Edition: Third
    ISBN: 0-87893-617-3

    Classroom Class Schedule Course Website
    3 Kleiber T R   9:00 AM - 10:20 AM
    Instructor Instructor Email Office Office Hours
    Karen Bales , Ph.D. 102C Young Hall 3pm-5pm Tuesdays