• Department
  • Undergraduate Program
  • Graduate Program
  • People
  • Research
  • GIVE
  • PSYCHOLOGY 208    Section:


    Fall Quarter 2006

    Units: 4
    Prerequisites: Graduate standing in psychology or consent of instructor.

    OBJECTIVE: The primary goal of this course is to understand the neurobiological basis of personality and social behavior  social neuroscience. Our focus will be on affective processes with less attention to cognitive processes involved in social neuroscience. Through our efforts to understand social neuroscience we will try to highlight basic principals and concepts central to Physiological Psychology. It is anticipated that some participants will be familiar with neuroscience but not affective processes (emotions, affect, personality, sociality), and some will be familiar with affective processes and not neuroscience. This means that we enter without a common set of assumptions and expertise.

    Although a textbook is not required it is highly recommended that each participant obtain a resource text that they can draw upon for technical neuroscience information. The best, but not the only, such textbook is Principles of Neural Science. If the seminar is going as planned you will find it an invaluable resource that you will turn to again and again throughout the course and beyond.

    FORMAT OF MEETINGS: Each meeting of the seminar will be discussion, minipresentation of findings, explanation of processes as needed to meet our goal. Each participant should be prepared for each seminar with questions, ideas, findings, both technical and theoretical, to be posed to the group for each session. One person in the seminar will serve as summarizer of the session and will provide a brief statement in narrative form of the discussion. The summary will be handed out at the next session discussed and corrected as needed.

    During the seminar discussions, questions will arise and various individuals will be assigned the task of "finding out" for our next meeting. Thus the topics covered will be generated by the participants. As seminar leader, I will identify the tasks and make the assignments. I will try to be fair. Readings will also be assigned to provide conceptual guidance. Anyone is welcome to suggest readings for consideration.

    Insight compendium: Our group assignment for the quarter is to create a compendium insights garnered in the process of reading and thinking. The insights need not be new to the world nor earth shattering  It is only a record of our progress individually and as a group. Each person will be expected to post one insight per week to our class website.


    Serotonin is a neurotransmitter originating in a very small nucleus in the brain stem, the raphe nuceus, but that has very widespread connections in the CNS. It has been associated with impulsive behavior. Since impulsivity is often considered to be a critical personality dimension it appears that serotonergic pathways may be critical for understanding the neurobiology of personality.

    GRADING: Your grade will depend upon full participation in all aspects of the seminar. It is particularly important that you are prepared for each discussion by reading each of the assigned articles completing individual "assignments". An A grade will indicate that you have made a sincere effort in all aspects of the seminar and have completed all reading and writing assignments on time.


    Textbook Information not Available Yet
    Classroom Class Schedule Course Website
    157 Young M W   10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Instructor Instructor Email Office Office Hours
    Sally Mendoza * Primate Center