Behavioral Neuroscience Minor

Behavioral neuroscience explores biological processes underlying behavior. Information derived from behavioral neuroscience helps us understand normal and abnormal brain development and subsequent behaviors, the role of environmental factors on brain functioning, and the ways in which brain dysfunctions are linked to physical and mental health. Because the field is interdisciplinary and integrative, studies of brain-behavior linkages incorporate findings related to learning, memory, intellectual functioning, language, sensation, perception, motivation, emotion, and development.

The behavioral neuroscience minor requires the completion of coursework in three disciplines: psychology, biology and philosophy. This academically rigorous program will be of interest to students considering careers in:

  • medicine
  • clinical psychology
  • clinical neuropsychology
  • forensic psychology
  • gerontology
  • health psychology
  • sports psychology
  • biology
  • occupational therapy
  • science education

The behavioral neuroscience minor requires a minimum of 22 credit hours.

All prerequisites must be completed prior to enrollment in the following courses.

PSYC 101: Introduction to Psychology
3 credit hours

This is a survey course providing a study of the behavior of living organisms, particularly human behavior. Typical problems are methods and measurement in psychology, theoretical systems, learning, motivation, perception, personality and psychopathology.

PSYC 331: Biological Bases of Clinical Disorders
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 172 or PSYC 101This course will provide an overview of the basic neuroanatomical and neurophysiological contributions to psychiatric disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, schizophrenia, somatoform disorders, cognitive disorders, and disorders of childhood and adolescence. Pharmacological treatments will also be addressed.

PSYC 348: Psychoneuroimmunology
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 172 or PSYC 356Examines the bidirectional interaction between the brain, behavior and the immune system. Students in this course will study both human-and animal?based literature. Topics include the brain, behavior and immune interface, behavioral and psychosocial characteristics linked with immune function, the impact of stress and coping, sickness behavior, and immunoenhancement.

PSYC 356: Biopsychology
3 credit hours

Examines the physiological, ontogenetic and functional foundations of human and animal behavior. Emphasizes central nervous system mechanisms that mediate processes such as arousal and sleep, hunger and satiety, learning and memory, aggression and violence, human psychopathology, and the psychoactive properties of recreational and therapeutic drugs.

BIOL 364: Neuroanatomy
4 credit hours

Prerequisite: DAY-BIOL 172. CCPS-BIOL 102 and BIOL 172. An in?depth study of the biology of the nervous system emphasizing the relationship between neuroanatomy and neurophysiology. Lecture and laboratory.

Choose one course from the following (3-4 hrs.): 

BIOL 110: Fundamentals of Cell Biology
4 credit hours

Prerequisite: Day- Declared major or minor in Health Science; declared minor in Exercise Physiology; declared major in Middle School Science Education; or declared major in Clinical & Behavioral Neuroscience. CCPS-BIOL 102.
An introductory course focusing on major biological concepts relating to molecular and cellular biology and genetics. Lecture and laboratory. Intended for students majoring in science?related disciplines.

BIOL 172: Molecular Biology
3 credit hours

Prerequisite or Co-Requisite: DAY-CHEM 115 or CHEM 208 or CHEM 238. CCPS-BIOL 102.
This course examines the structure and function of nucleic acids and proteins. The molecular mechanisms of replication, transcription, mRNA processing and translation will be emphasized. In addition, regulation of these processes will be explored. Lecture and laboratory. Intended for students majoring in biology or related disciplines.

Choose one course from the following (3 hrs.): 

PHIL 214: Free Will & Responsibility
3 credit hours

No question in the history of philosophy has been debated for a longer period of time than the free will problem. Are we merely dominoes falling in accordance with fate, history, causation, genetics, or socialization; or are we the “final arbiters of our own wills”? The question of human freedom goes right to the center of the meaningfulness of our very existences - after all, if we are not free, what is the point of making decisions, formulating life plans and striving for goals? Throughout this course we will survey all of the major “camps” in the free will debate. Along the way you will learn that each camp, in providing its own answer to the debate, also reveals further and perhaps more disturbing problems and issues.

PHIL 374: Philosophy of Mind
3 credit hours

One of the most perplexing problems to haunt philosophy, but particularly since the 1600s, is the mind-body problem. Fundamentally, we will concern ourselves with investigating the (purported) connection between consciousness (the mind) and the physical world (specifically, the body). In this course, we will engage in a very in-depth theoretical investigation into the (perhaps limited) degree to which psychology can explain consciousness, and relatedly whether a complete study of consciousness necessarily requires inquiries outside of science as a whole, whether a coherent explanation of consciousness permits or rejects traditional notions of free will, how information and consciousness are related, the degree to which artificial intelligence (the creation of consciousness) is possible and the possibility of forging a link between explaining consciousness and understanding foundational metaphysics.