academic catalogue

2023-2024 Catalogue

Neuroscience (NSC) Course Descriptions

NSC 207: Principles of Neuroscience.
Goal: To provide the student with an understanding of physiological processes that mediate psychological functioning.
Content : The biological bases of sensation, perception, learning, memory, cognition, motivation, emotion, and consciousness; overview of recent and significant developments in this area.
Prerequisite: PSY 101.
Credit: 4 hours; cross-listed as PSY 207.

NSC 260: Drugs and Behavior.
To examine the major classes of drugs which affect behavior, including drugs of abuse and drugs used in the treatment of mental disorders.
Content: The pharmacology of drugs of abuse and drugs used in treating mental disorders is explored. Exploration of historical background of drugs as well as social context.
Credit: 3 hours; cross-listed as PSY 260.

NSC 310: Cognitive Psychology.
Goal: To foster an understanding of the human mind and how it operates by discussing the major theories, concepts, and research in cognitive psychology.
Content: Detailed examination of how humans encode, perceive, remember, and use the information encountered in daily life. Topics examined include pattern recognition, mental imagery, attention, memory, language, problem solving, creativity, and artificial intelligence.
Prerequisites: PSY 101.
Credit: 3 hours; cross-listed as PSY 310.

NSC 314: Learning and Memory.
Goal: To provide students with a clear and comprehensible integration of classic and contemporary achievements in the field of learning and memory.
Content: Principles of respondent and operant conditioning as well as memory and cognition in terms of possible mechanisms, current research, the theory.
Prerequisites : PSY 101.
Credit: 4 hours; cross-listed as PSY 314.

NSC 315: Animal Behavior.
Goal: To familiarize the student with the biological study of animal behavior. To introduce the student to the major historical and contemporary perspectives of behavioral study. To allow the student to practice field and laboratory methods of behavioral sampling and analysis.
Content: A practice-oriented survey of contemporary approaches to animal behavior, including behavioral genetics, behavioral development, neuroethology, behavioral endocrinology, behavioral ecology and evolution, ethology and sociobiology.
Prerequisites: BIO 103 or 110; BIO 203 or PSY 305.
Credit: 4 hours; cross-listed as BIO 315.

NSC 325: Neurophysiology.
Goal: To familiarize the student with the theoretical bases and experimental methods of modern neurobiology, appropriate to studying the structure and function of individual nerve cells and small neuronal systems.
Content: A practice-oriented introduction to cellular and systems neurobiology. Laboratory exercise and discussion topics will include electrophysiological, histophysiological, and neurochemical techniques, neuronal membrane dynamics, synaptic function and plasticity, sensory coding, sensorimotor coordination, central pattern generation, and network function. Methods of study will include electrophysiological recording from invertebrate and embryonic vertebrate preparations, neurochemical and microsurgical manipulation, computer and electronic simulations, and correlational network analysis.
Prerequisites: BIO 103 or 110; BIO 203 or PSY 305; PSY 207 or consent of instructor.
Credit: 4 hours; cross-listed as BIO 325.

NSC 335: Neuronal Networks and Systems.
To familiarize the student with the scientific questions, theories, methods., and practices of studying neuronal networks and systems in animals. To become conversant with the primary scientific literature in network and systems neuroscience, as well as functional neuroethology.
Content: A seminar--style course which samples from the range of sensory, motor, and associational neuronal networks and systems in invertebrate and vertebrate animals and the experimental and analytical approaches used to understand them. Instructor - and student-led discussions will use both review texts and the primary neuroscience literature of particularly well-understood systems as source material. This will be supplemented with hands-on exploration of computer-based simulations and models of neuronal networks. Specific topics might include, for example, detection, discrimination, and topographical mapping in visual and olfactory systems, owl and anuran auditory localization, fish electroreception, bat echolocation, crustacean and teleost escape behavior, coordination of leech swimming, locust flight, and birdsong, and the neuronal substrates of daily and seasonal rhythms.
Prerequisites: PSY 101; BIO 103 or BIO 110; PSY 207 or consent of instructor.
Credit: 3 hours.

NSC 341: Developmental Biology.
Goal : To introduce the student to the processes and structures involved in the ontogeny of animals.
Content: The development of animals from gametogenesis through fertilization, gastrulation, and organogenesis, including intra-and extracellular regulation and control of developmental mechanisms and structures. A comparison of the developmental processes of protostomes and deuterostomes.
Prerequisites: BIO 110, 112, and 203.
Credit: 4 hours; cross-listed as BIO 341.

NSC 396: Special Topics in Neuroscience.
Goal: To understand psychological topics not covered in-depth in other courses offered in the department.
Content: Topics vary.
Prerequisites: None.
Credit: 3 hours; cross-listed as PSY (if content applies). A student may take a maximum of six to eight semester hours (two courses) of special topics in any one field.
NSC 440: Senior Integrative Exercise in the Life Sciences.
Goal: To provide a capstone integrative experience for seniors majoring in biology, neuroscience, and environmental studies. To prepare for careers and professional growth by discussing future goals and reflecting on past collegiate experiences, both in the major and in the general education curriculum.
Content: With faculty guidance, students will work individually to research a focused topic integrating concepts of biology, neuroscience, or environmental studies with those of another academic discipline. Students will work collaboratively in a small group to organize oral presentations incorporating individual topics into a broader theme, question, or problem. Students will make their presentations at the end of the semester to students and faculty in the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Students will also critique resumes and prepare cover letters for a variety of postgraduate opportunities.
Prerequisites: Declared major in Biology with senior standing and completion of BIO 110, BIO 112, and BIO 203; or declared major in Environmental Studies with senior standing and completion of ESC 150 and at least one 200- or 300-level ESC class; or declared major in Neuroscience with senior standing and completion of NSC 207, NSC 325, or NSC 335; or consent of instructor.
Credit: 3 hours; cross-listed as BIO 440 and ESC 440.

NSC 451: Directed Independent Study.
Goal: To provide opportunities to engage in faculty-supervised or student-controlled research projects. To study a topic in-
depth not ordinarily offered by the department.
Content: Topics vary; examples.
Prerequisites: Major of senior standing, and consent of instructor.
Credit: 3 hours.

NSC 452: Field Study.
Goal: To gain experience in application of psychological findings to community settings.
Content: Varies with instructor.
Prerequisites: Appropriate background and permission of intern supervisor.
Credit: 1-12 hours.

NSC 499: Honors Thesis. (Fee required).

Campus image

Calendar of Events

Wesleyan College is privileged to steward many arts and cultural events and share them with the community. Most are free and open to the public. Wesleyan art galleries are open M-F 1-5PM and on Wesleyan Market Saturdays from 10AM-2PM.

Event listing

NCAA Division III Athletics

Wesleyan College is home to five NCAA Division III sports: soccer, basketball, volleyball, tennis, and softball. In addition, we offer an award-winning Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Equestrian program.

View More

Visit our Campus

Tour our beautiful 200-acre campus featuring Georgian architecture, lush green spaces, recreational facilities, residence halls, and worship center.

Vist Wesleyan Virtually

Join our email list