This page was last updated:

January 16, 2022

PSY/BSC 340 Brain & Behavior
Syllabus  Spring 2022


ďNeuroscience is by far the most exciting branch of science because the brain is the most fascinating object in the universe. Every human brain is different - the brain makes each human unique and defines who he or she is.Ē Stanley Prusiner (Nobel Prize Winner)

"Our kind of brain isnít the biggest in the animal kingdom, and itís not the best in any objective sense. But itís ours. Itís the source of our strengths and our foibles. It gives us our capacity to build civilizations and our capacity to tear down each other. It makes us simply, imperfectly, gloriously human.Ē Lisa Feldman Barrett (2020)

       

Summary of Major Points in Syllabus


Course Format
Except for the first two weeks when we will be using Zoom, I expect that the course will be conducted in person in Grewen Hall 207. As I have already explained in an email, I do not use Canvas and, unless the college decides to go online completely, I will not be using it at all.
Office Hours
I will hold office hours in Reilly Hall 222 on Mon & Wed from 3:45 to 4:55 pm, either in person or via Zoom. Students can also request to meet with me via Zoom at other times and days.
Required Textbook
Kalat, James W. (2019). Biological psychology (13th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/CENGAGE. (This is not the 12th/2016 edition)
Course Webpage
Everything related to this course will be found on the PSY 340 webpage that can be accessed via my webpage at www.hevern.com
Schedule & Assignments are all listed at http://web.lemoyne.edu/~hevern/psy340_22S/psy340sked.html
  • Chapter readings are listed in the right column and are due on the day of the assigned class
Lecture Notes

Components of Course (% of final grade)
  • Four 1-period tests (each worth 22.5% of final grade)
  • Class Participation (10%) Attendance without active participation is equal to a participation grade of C+. Participation will involve making comments, asking questions, contributing examples via Discussion board on Canvas.

Class Attendance. 5 cut limit. However, see some of the exceptions I list below.

Extra Credit

  • One book report can substitute for one weak/poor test (see below)

Now, read the rest of the syllabus below


Faculty Webpage

Email Address

Office Hours
Reilly Hall 222

My faculty webpage: http://www.hevern.comhttp://web.lemoyne.edu/~hevern/

Email: hevern@lemoyne.edu

Mon & Wed 3:45-4:55 & by appointment via Zoom or in person
or, even, via email.
Required Text Kalat, James W. (2019). Biological psychology (13th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/CENGAGE. 
  • ISBN-10: 9781337408202 [ISBN-13: 978-1337408202]
  • Used copies of this book are widely available since it was actually first printed in 2018 and has been used for three years in schools.

Format of Course

In the first two weeks of the semester, classes will be conducted online via Zoom. I have sent all members of each class section an email with the i
nvitation to connect to class. When you do so, I WILL require that you use your actual name on the screen (and not your telephone number or some other ID).

After the first two weeks, class lectures will be held in person in Grewen Hall 207 (unless at some point the college changes how we will respond to the pandemic).

Lecture Notes, Schedule, Syllabus. My complete lecture notes for each class and an outline of each lecture (or a PowerPoint presentation) will be posted online via my faculty webpage [http://www.hevern.com = http://web.lemoyne.edu/~hevern/]. The class schedule and assigned readings are also found there. Finally I also include a copy of this syllabus in pdf form. Lecture notes will be available by the morning of the assigned class.

Internet
  • A student's Le Moyne e-mail account is considered to be an official mechanism of communication between the school and a student. I will usually communicate to the class or to individual students outside of class time by means of e-mail messages. Hence, you should check your e-mail regularly (at least once a day).
  • I will try to respond to all student email messages within 24 hours. Occasionally, over weekends or during holidays, it may take me up to 48 hours to do so.
  • As I note above, I will regularly post outlines of my class lectures and more detailed lecture notes online at this link. Students do not have to download copies of these, but many students find that access to these notes helps them study for class and for examinations.
College COVID-19 Guidelines At the end of this syllabus, I have provided a copy of the two-page official college policy statement about dealing with COVID-19 for the Spring, 2022 semester. Please read through those guidelines.

NOTE: Our best hope to avoid unsafe health will be for all of us jointly to follow the guidelines. I will ask any student in class who is not properly wearing his or her mask to adjust it.

         

Catalog Course
Description
A study of the relationship of the brain and body to behavior. Emphasis is on the central nervous system. Topics include neuroanatomy, neural cell processes, hemispheric functions, hormonal regulation of behavior, physiological mechanisms involved in attention, arousal and sleep, and the neural bases of emotions learning and memory and psychological disorders. Prerequisites: PSY 101 or permission of the instructor.

 Learning Objectives

This upper-level course is designed primarily for psychology majors as a general survey of psychology from the neuroscientific, physiological or biological perspective. It has been designed under the conviction that no psychologist can think of serving productively within the many specialties of the discipline over the next decades without a competent and broad understanding of the functioning of the central nervous system.

At the end of this course, students are expected to be able to demonstrate

  • a general understanding of the basic physiological structures and processes involving the human central nervous system;
  • a general understanding of several key topics and issues which currently serve to direct the research efforts of physiological psychologists including evolutionary psychology, brain plasticity, and the effect of damage to the nervous system in altering behavior; and
  • a general knowledge of the ways in which biological psychology offers explanations for or causal models of a range of human behaviors including receptive and expressive language functions, everyday activities such as sleep and eating, sexual development and sexual orientation, and mental disorders such as depression and schizophrenia.

     

 Requirements & Guidelines
Class Attendance
and Absences

Your are expected to participate in class by joining in each of the three weekly class lectures.

What about absences, that is, your not participating in the class lecture?  Normally I require students to miss no more than 5 classes (5 "cuts") without a serious or compelling reason. Examples of a serious & compelling reason for additional absences would be a documented visit to a physician's office or participation at a funeral. If you are absent from school to attend a funeral, you must file a notice with either the Dean's Office or the Campus Ministry Office.

If you become sick and expect to be out of class for 3 or more days or if you are required to quarantine yourself, you are supposed to contact the Student Health Services office: (315) 445-4440  Email: healthservices@lemoyne.edu. Note, because of HIPPA rules, the college will notify your professors if you are absent BUT THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO TELL YOUR INSTRUCTORS WHY YOU ARE ABSENT. So, please send me (and your other teachers) an email to explain any extended absences, particularly if they relate to quarantine.

I will try to be understanding about absences. The pandemic has been a difficult experience for many of us. However, if you do consistently miss many of your classes, I reserve the right to lower your final grade. I will deduct up to 5 points for each excessive absence. If you are not in class, you are clearly not participating.

Observance of Religious Holidays
As provided in New York State Education Law Section 224-a, any student who is unable to register for class, attend class, or participate in any examination, study or classwork requirements on a particular day because of his or her religious beliefs is eligible for an equivalent opportunity to register for classes or make up any missed examination, study, or classwork requirements, without penalties or additional fees. Students who require such an opportunity must contact the registrar (for registration) or their instructor (for examination, study or classwork requirements) at least two weeks in advance. A full copy of the College's policy on the observance of religious holidays can be found at either dean's office.

 Reading Assignments When you come to class, I expect that you will be prepared. This means that you will have completed the readings assigned for the class. Assignments are due on the first date indicated for each topic on the accompanying "Schedule of Classes and Assignments".

 Course Tests Four (4) summary examinations will be given in this course as noted on the accompanying "Schedule of Classes and Assignments". Each test will be worth 22.5% of your final grade. Absence from any exam without proof that attendance at that exam was extremely difficult or impossible will result in a grade of F for that examination. Ordinarily such proof would require authorization from the Dean of Students, a signed explanation by a physician, or the like. A "made-up" exam may include both a written and an oral section. Tests are only given on scheduled dates; there are no "early" tests.

Note that Test #4 is given during "Finals Week." However, it is not a final exam. Rather it is just the fourth of the class period tests and, thus, the time limit for this test will be 50-60 minutes rather than 2 1/2 hours if it were an actual final exam.


Ethics 

The Le Moyne College Student Handbook describes a broad range of behavioral expectations and guidelines for students. You should be aware of the importance of ethical behavior as you begin the study of psychology.

Psychologists are expected to follow the guidelines of the American Psychological Association in regard to their professional conduct. These norms can be found online at <http://www.apa.org/ethics/>.

 (1) Dealing with Personal Issues arising from class

This is an undergraduate course in biological psychology; you are not finishing a postdoctoral fellowship at Upstate Hospital's Neurology Service. Even though we will discuss many issues involving the relationship between the brain and behavior, you will not be in a position to "diagnose" the problems of another person (including yourself). Beware of the "Harvard Medical School Syndrome" which involves 1st year medical students who become convinced that they "have" any number of illnesses covered in their Introductory Pathology class.

If any material in this course evokes difficulties or unease in you, please feel free to consult me confidentially. It is conceivable that we may discuss medical or other materials which mirror what you may be experiencing in your own family. Perhaps, some family member faced an illness or problem in the past and you are still upset about this. Perhaps you yourself have faced the issue. I would like to be able to help you find ways of coping with such matters.

(2) Students with Personal Problems
Students who encounter personal problems of any kind, especially  problems that might affect their academic performance, are encouraged to contact the Wellness Center for Health  and Counseling (https://www.lemoyne.edu/Student-Life/Student-Services/Wellness-Center). The Center is  located in Romero Hall; appointments may be arranged by phone at 445-4195. The Center provides both individual and group counseling on a strictly confidential basis. The professional staff is also available on an emergency basis. When the Wellness Center is closed, for example, at night, the Le Moyne Security office (315-445-4444 or ext. 4444 on campus) can contact the professional staff for an emergency. 

(3) Disabilities or Special Needs Your access in this course is important. Any student who feels s/he may need an  accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss your specific needs. You should also meet with someone from Disability Support Services (DSS) about your disability and  accommodation needs. The DSS office is located on the first floor of the library (315-445-4118; dss@lemoyne.edu). This should take place within the first 2 weeks of the semester.

(4) Issues of Cheating and Plagiarism 

Cheating and lying are unacceptable at Le Moyne as stated clearly under "Academic Standards" in the Student Handbook. Plagiarism or cheating in any form is simply wrong. Please reread the section on "Academic Standards" in the Student Handbook to review what is meant by these terms.

Recall that plagiarism involves the submission of any thoughts or formulations of other people without their being cited or given credit for those thoughts/formulations. For this reason, in any written materials submitted to me:

  • You must put quote marks (" ") around any direct quotation of another person's writings and you must cite the source and page number (in APA format).
  • You must cite the source (in APA format) for any thoughts or, even, for ways of expression which you have changed "into your own words".
(5) Confidentiality and Sensitive Matters  It is possible that we may discuss materials in class that elicit autobiographical statements of some depth and sensitivity from a class member. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of classroom matters that involve another student who speaks about any personal experience or difficulty (unless that student openly gives you permission to break the confidence). Similarly, I should tell you that, to illustrate a point, I will make statements in class from time to time which involve my past contact with clients in my professional work. In all instances, such statements will disguise or otherwise alter the identity of that client so that, while the educational point of the statement will be true, some essential personal fact(s) about the client will be false. I will regularly distort descriptions of any past clients.

       
 Grading
Components of Final Grade

Your grade in this course will be determined as a weighted average calculated from your performance on the following five evaluative components which add up to a total of 500 points.

  • Four hourly exams (each test's weight = 112.5 points, i.e., 22.5% of your grade)
  • Class Participation (= 50 points, i.e., 10% of your grade; see further below for grading criteria)
Because the actual work of a course sometimes changes or deviates from an original plan, I reserve the right to change, add, or drop, within reasonable bounds, any weight or grading component listed above. Such a change, addition, or elimination will apply to all members of a class section, not just to an individual.

 Conversion Criteria in Grading Your final grade will be based upon the following conversion criteria (as the sum of all of your work):

A  = 450-500 points
A- = 440-449 points
B+ = 415-449 points
B  = 400-414 points
B- = 390-399 points
   
C+= 365-389 points
C  = 350-364 points
C- = 340-349 points
D  = 315-339 points
F  = below 315 points

Class Participation and Discussions

What do I mean by participation? You demonstrate participation in ways such as the following:

  • regular attending class as described above (which, by itself, is only equal to a participation grade of C+)
  • making comments, raising objections, or giving observations about topics in the course, particularly those which tie in the classroom material to "real world" problems, link current with past topics, or otherwise try to integrate the content of the course
  • providing examples to support or challenge the issues talked about in class
  • dealing with other students and/or me in a respectful fashion
  • Sometimes students feel uncomfortable making comments or asking questions in the classroom. So, I will also count as participation your submitting questions or comments to me via email. Note that all email sent to me should have a Subject: line which begins with the number of the class, namely, "SUBJECT: PSY 340 xxxxx" where "xxxxx" tells me the content of the message.
  • I am serious when I also say to students that there are NO "stupid" questions. So, please do not hesitate to ask something for fear that you might appear in some negative way.

In general, a participation grade of A- or A is given to students who make contributions (asking questions, making observations, etc.) in at least half the classes. A participation grade of B or B+ is given to students who make contributions at least once in every 5 to 6 classes. 

Privacy & Copyright
Both other students and I have an expectation that classroom discussions and presentations are meant only for class participants. We also have a reasonable expectation that students and the instructor will respect each others' privacy including, as noted earlier, maintaining confidentiality about personal matters discussed in class.

The college's policy is that students must receive written permission from an instructor before sharing or posting in any other location any recording of class lectures or distributing comments or discussion materials involving the instructor or any students in the class. The penalties for unauthorized recording, sharing, distribution or retention of materials may range up to expulsion from the college. Note that this policy is college-wide, that all my own class lectures and presentations are Copyright © 2022 by me, and that violation of this policy allows me to penalize an offender with a failing mark in the course.

 "Extra Credit"

Students can receive "extra credit" according to the following option

Option A: Substituting for One Low Exam Grade

Students may read one non-fiction book directly related to the issue of brain and behavior. Preference is given for the books of Dr. Oliver Sacks, Dr. Temple Grandin, or Dr. Alexander Luria. Until his death in 2015 Dr. Sacks was a famous neurologist who has worked with people with brain injury. He has written a number of books which are excellent adjunct readings to the materials of this course. In order to gain extra credit, you would be expected to read the book and write a 5 to 10 page book review (typed with according to APA standards as described here). See me if you elect to take this option. The grade on this option can then substitute for the lowest grade on any of the exams. The titles of suggested books are:

  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat (Sacks)
  • Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain (Sacks)
  • An Anthropologist on Mars (Sacks)
  • The Island of the Colorblind (Sacks)
  • Seeing Voices: A Journey into the World of the Deaf (Sacks)
  • Awakenings (Sacks)
  • Migraine (Sacks)
  • The Mind's Eye (Sacks)
  • Hallucinations (Sacks)
  • Thinking in Pictures and Other Reports from My Life with Autism (Grandin)
  • Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior (Grandin)
  • The Mind of a Mnemonist (Luria)
  • The Man with a Shattered World (Luria)
  • The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog [focuses on childhood trauma & abuse, loss, love, and brain development] (Bruce Perry & Maia Szalavitz)

Note, though, that I am open to your reading books by other authors which are primarily focused upon issues of biological psychology/psychiatry and its application to understanding human behavior.

For a more detailed description of what I want you to do for Option A, please go to this webpage/link

"Early Tests"  A test is never given before or in anticipation of its scheduled date.

         
Please Note... Students have the right to voice opinions contrary to those offered by the instructor and/or other students. Equally, a faculty member has the right - and the responsibility - to ensure that all academic discourse occurs in a context characterized by respect and civility. The accepted level of civility would not include attacks of a personal nature or statements denigrating another on the basis of race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, age, national/regional origin or other such factors. Students who are not respectful, not civil, or disruptive in any way may be asked to leave the class.

Bias-Related Incidents Le Moyne College defines a bias-related incident as behavior that constitutes  an expression of hostility against the person or property of another because of the targeted personís race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, gender, age, or disability. Bias-related incidents include, but are not limited to, non-threatening name calling and using degrading language or slurs that are directed  toward a person because of his or her membership or perceived membership in a protected class and that create a hostile environment for that person.

Students who believe they have experienced bias or discrimination are encouraged to report the incident. Please refer to Le Moyneís Bias-Related Incident Reporting webpage to submit a report and for further information.

Title IX Students who believe they have been harassed, discrimination against, or involved in sexual  violence should contact the Title IX Coordinator (315-445-4278) for information about campus resources and  support services, including confidential counseling services.
 
Le Moyne faculty are concerned about the well-being and development of our students and we are available to discuss your concerns.  As faculty, we are obligated to share information with the Collegeís Title IX coordinator to help ensure that the studentís safety and welfare are being addressed, consistent with the requirements of the law.  These disclosures include, but are not limited to, reports of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.
 
Please refer to Le Moyne's Sexual Misconduct Resources webpage for contact information and further details.



Official College
COVID-19
Guidelines
for the Spring 2022
Semester

The following information describes the health and safety guidelines for classrooms, which are subject to change. The College may adjust health and safety protocols pending prevalence of the COVID-19 virus and its transmissibility on campus and within our local community.

Summary of Key Classroom Health and Safety Protocols:

1.    Appropriate face coverings (defined below) are required to be properly worn (i.e., covering both mouth and nose) in the academic buildings until further notice.

2.    No eating or drinking is permitted in classrooms.

3.    All eligible undergraduate and graduate students are required to receive a COVID-19 booster vaccination by the start of classes for the spring semester (see details below).

4.     Students who received an exemption from vaccination MUST adhere to the health and safety protocols detailed below.

Viral Transmission Levels. The NYS Department of Health has adopted and implemented guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC monitors levels of community viral transmission of the coronavirus by county and state. Viral transmission levels are classified as low, moderate, substantial, or high. The CDC provides guidance for the implementation of Covid-9 prevention strategies for each transmission level and within the context of each communityís vaccination coverage. For example, when viral transmission is low, fully vaccinated members of the Le Moyne Community who certify their vaccination status may not be required to wear a face covering or physically distance. However, when viral transmission is substantial or high, the CDC recommends that fully vaccinated individuals wear a face covering in public indoor settings. Additionally, the CDC recommends that fully vaccinated individuals may choose to wear a face covering regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they are immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19, or if they have someone in their household who is immunocompromised, at increased risk of severe disease or not fully vaccinated. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their final dose schedule of an FDA-approved vaccine, i.e., two weeks after receiving the second dose in a two-dose series (e.g., Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) or two weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine (e.g., Johnson & Johnson). Regardless of transmission level, and in accordance with NYS Department of Health requirements, unvaccinated individuals must continue to properly wear face coverings and be socially distanced.

College Face Covering Requirement. Within the context presented above, and given the prevalence and high transmission of the Delta and now emerging Omicron variants in Onondaga County, and in compliance with a recent determination by NYSís Department of Health, appropriate face coverings are required to be properly worn (i.e., covering both mouth and nose) in the academic buildings, which include all classrooms and public spaces (i.e., lounges, hallways, stairwells, and elevators), until further notice. Appropriate and recommended face coverings include KN95 or KF94 respirators, surgical masks, and face coverings made of at least two layers of cloth. Above all else, a snug fit (no gaps, wired nose bridge, adjustable ear loops), offers the best protection to the user and the community. Most importantly, face coverings with an exhalation/release valve, single-layer gaiter-style neck fleeces, and bandanas should NOT be worn on campus.

In-Class Eating and Drinking Policy. Eating and/or drinking is not permitted in classrooms. Students however may seek a medical accommodation. Certain medical conditions may require a student to have something to eat or drink at specific times, including during a class period. For medical accommodations, students should contact the Office of Disability Support Services [Roger Purdy, dss@lemoyne.edu, (315) 445-4118]. Students granted a medical accommodation may lower their mask to drink/eat and then the mask must be immediately raised.

Covid-19 Vaccine and Booster Requirement. All undergraduate and graduate students (together with faculty, staff, and administrators) were required to have the COVID-19 vaccine by the opening of the fall 2021 semester. As part of the Collegeís strategy to reduce the risk of transmission and serious illness, Le Moyne is now requiring all eligible undergraduate and graduate students to receive a COVID-19 booster vaccination by the start of classes for the spring semester. Individuals are eligible to receive a booster vaccination five-months after the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, six-months after the second dose of the Moderna vaccine, and two-months after the first dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Students not eligible to receive a booster by the start of classes due to the date of their second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or first dose of Johnson and Johnson must receive their booster vaccination as soon as they are eligible. Students who received an exemption to the COVID-19 vaccination in the fall semester are encouraged to get vaccinated to protect themselves and the community from the spread of the virus.

Responsibilities of Those Granted an Exemption. Though an overwhelming majority of the College Community was vaccinated by the fall, some exemptions based on medical and religious reasons were approved. In accordance with NYS Department of Health regulations, students and other members of the college community who received an exemption and who are not fully vaccinated MUST adhere to the following health and safety protocols, which are subject to change based on campus, county, and state disease prevalence.

  • Properly wear (i.e., covering both mouth and nose) an appropriate face covering in all campus buildings and classrooms.
  • Complete COVID-19 testing with the College testing program, at a minimum, two times a week on either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday or submit proof of negative PCR test results from an external official testing location once a week to the COVID Office at coronavirus@lemoyne.edu.
  • Follow all New York State and CDC regulations pertaining to unvaccinated individuals.

For students, these requirements protect the studentís own health and safety as well as the health and safety of their classmates, their instructor, and the entire Le Moyne community. Students granted an exemption and who are not fully vaccinated and who refuse to wear appropriate face coverings properly or to adhere to other stated requirements will be subject to disciplinary action for Community Standards violations.

If a student granted an exemption is unable to wear a face covering due to a disabling condition, they should contact the Office of Disability Support Services [Roger Purdy, dss@lemoyne.edu, (315) 445-4118] to discuss accommodations.

COVID-19 Symptoms. Regardless of vaccination status, students who are experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms must not attend class and are encouraged to contact the Student Health Center [healthservices@lemoyne.edu, (315) 445-4440] or their primary medical provider. COVID-19-related symptoms may include one or some combination of the following:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  •  Fatigue
  •  Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Finally, in keeping with our values as a Jesuit college, each member of the community is expected to act honestly and ethically regarding both their vaccination status and any experienced COVID-19-related symptoms. A well-vaccinated and attentive community better protects the vulnerable amongst us and loved ones at home who cannot be vaccinated.