Neuropsychology Psychology 162, Fall 2013

Meeting Times: Class: MWRF 2:00 pm Laboratory: T 10-12 or R 10-12
Instructor: John H. Krantz Office: Science Center 151
Text: Physiology of Behavior 9th Ed.  by Carlson Phone: x7316

Class Assignments
End of Term Project
Lab Schedule
Lab Assignments
Research Participation
Grading and Policies

Neuroscience Animations
Web Notes
Lab Report Format

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Class:   SCC 107
Lab:      SCC 127

Office Hours: 
MF 10:00 AM
W 3:00 PM
R 9:00 AM

Others by appointment


September 2, 2012
Welcome to the beginning of Neuropsychology. I hope you have an enjoyable and intellectually stimulating term.

Look in this space on the syllabus for course updates and announcements.


It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to this course about one of the great mysteries facing humanity.  Perhaps this is the greatest mystery that we will ever explore.  Nothing is more profound than how this 2+ pounds of protein, fat, salt, and other assorted substances give rise to who we are.  The course will confront many details.  They are necessary because no answer to the question posed by this course can be answered by them.  However, do not get lost in them.  They are not the answer.  The answer, of which we have only a beginning of an inclination, will come with integrating the details into the larger question.  You need to push yourself to handle both at the same time.

Consider the following statement about the Liberal Arts:

The liberal arts are arts suited for free people. The purpose of a liberal arts education is to enable such people to cultivate humanity, to realize their full potential as human beings and as citizens. Accordingly, the liberal arts are designed to equip individuals to develop and integrate every dimension of their own humanity--physical, intellectual, artistic, ethical, and spiritual--and to understand and respect the humanity of others (HC Academic Vision Plan, 2002).

This study of biopsychology is all about integration and to live a more integrated life.  We are embodied.  The nature of our bodies do affect and often determine the type of people we are.  In this course we will directly try to integrate knowledge of biology and other fields into an understanding of our own human nature. 

More practically, the knowledge from this course will have great impact on your daily life at some time and also on those you love.  Many medications, many injuries, alter our brain and as a result alter who we are.  You probably went to school with many fellow students with ADHD who were being medicated.  You may know other students here being medicated for depression or anxiety.  You make know grandparents or other family members who have suffered a stroke or Alzheimer's.  The effects of these drugs and the injuries and disease all rest in the brain.  Moreover, our understanding of why they have these effects also rests in the brain. 

So whether you see the course as a means of knowledge about human nature or as a source of practical information, or, even better, both, this course has much to offer.  Keep your curiosity open and remember the big questions.


Due to the fact that this course plays many different types of roles in the college, I have grouped the objectives into different categories.  Depending upon the reason you are in this course, you may not see a need for all of the objectives.  However, the objectives all work together and the first two sets of objectives actually are vehicles to support the higher level objectives which are the real reason for taking any course.

Course Objectives: The goals of the laboratory portions of the class are: (1) to gain first-hand knowledge of neuroanatomy, (2) to gain experience in the handling, care, and proper use of laboratory animals, and (3) to acquaint you with some of the behavioral methods used to study brain-behavior relations.

Role of Course in Major: This course is a 200 level laboratory course.  As such it has several purposes: 1) to give you some exposure to the biological side of psychology.  As such this course is paired with sensation and perception.  If you do not take S&P, I give a good coverage of the biological aspects of that topic in this course, which happens to be the part of the central nervous system we understand the best. 2) To give you some basic laboratory experience to assist you in your 300 level psychology laboratory course.  You will be required to do an independent research project in that course so this course needs to give you some background in doing experimental research.

Role of Course in the Natural World LADR:  I will quote here the general objectives for all Natural World courses that are most important for this course:

  1. Recognize that there is no single scientific method, that the scientific enterprise consists of multiple methods and tools of investigation for evaluating ideas, and that all science relies upon the acquisition of evidence obtained through experimentation and observation to test hypotheses and theories rather than upon the acceptance of ideas based on authority
  2. Understand that scientific inquiry is not formulaic in practice and be able to explain how science works as a blend of logic, imagination, and serendipity to produce theories that have both explanatory and predictive power subject to validation by experiments and observations
  3. Explain why no scientific knowledge is considered to be absolutely and completely true, and be able to give examples of how science has historically improved, discarded, and replaced theories by experiments and observations
  4. Explain why many questions and assertions are outside the domain of scientific inquiry and why a hypothesis must be falsifiable through experiments or observations to be considered scientific
  5. Demonstrate with examples that science is a distinguishing feature of the contemporary world, and that the scientific enterprise is embedded in and influenced by the political, social, economic, and cultural contexts of the times
  6. Understand that it is the responsibility of scientists to communicate their findings to the scientific community and, ideally, to the public, that scientists have a generally accepted set of ethical principles for the conduct of science, and that many scientists participate in public affairs as both scientific experts and citizens
  7. Conduct a scientific investigation, including the formulation of questions and hypotheses, the development of methods of investigation, the collection and analysis of data, and the presentation of the work in written and oral scientific style

Role of Course in the Liberal Arts: There are many mottos that might be associated with the liberal arts.  "Know thyself" is certainly one.  In that sense, understanding that part of our body that most defines who we are is fundamental to knowing ourselves.  As such this course is designed to be course of self-exploration by examining what is known and the implications of what is known about ourselves.  In addition, this course is the second course in a LADR sequence as part of the Natural World.  As such, I want to expose you to the way that science asks and answers questions.

Course Organization/Expectations

Read material before coming to class.  In class, we will not simply present the material from the text but examine the material. Class is for working on understanding, applications, covering of new material.  Thus, familiarity with the material prior to class is vital.

Laboratory: The labs will be a chance to delve into some of the methods of the field.  The first lab will deal with anatomy which is a foundational way of understanding function.  The rest of the labs will involve the use of live animals and our methods will be more observational.  These methods will stand in stark contrast to what you do in biology.  Part of that is very much on purpose.

Attend Class.

Turn assignments in on time.  A letter grade is lost for each late day and nothing will be accepted more than three days late.

Participation in Class.  As much of this class will be an investigation into the meaning of the findings we discuss we need all of you to ask questions, suggest ideas and critique other people's ideas, including mine.

Seek help as you need it.  Unfortunately my training in  psychology has not made me a mind reader.  If you are having troubles seek help from me and/or fellow students before the latter part of the term.  Seek the help as soon as the trouble begins.  That requires you thinking about the material and not just memorizing so that you know if you really understand it.

No electronic devices will be allowed in class.  That means no laptops, no phones, no handheld devices, no iPads, etc.

Class Schedule

Date/Days Week Topic Reading/Assignment
Sep 02 1 Overview, Philosophy, History
Class 1..Class 2..Class 4
Chapter 1
Sep 09 2 Overall Structure of the Nervous System
Class PowerPoint
Class 5.. Class 6..  Class 7..  Class 8

Terminology Homework Due Wednesday
Chapter 3
Do these tutorials:
Cranial Nerve Tutorial Brain Structure Review

Sep 16 3

Cells and Communication Basics
Class 9..Class 10..Nernst/Goldman Spreadsheet
Class 12

Chapter 2
Online Tutorials and Quizzes  Do all the tutorials and quizzes here, the brain tutorials are repeats.
Online Illustrations: Nernst/Goldman Equation, Sodium/Potassium Pump, The Action Potential, Spatial/Temporal Summation
Sep 23 4 Psychopharmacology/Research Methods

Test 1 Fri Sep 28

Chapters 4-5
Sep 30 5 Vision (will probably spill into the next week)

Chapter 6
Online Illustrations:
Neural Coding
Check out the vision animations

Oct 07 6 Other Senses (Focus on Hearing)
Chapter 7
Online Illustrations:
Check out the audition animations
Check out the Skin Senses animations
Oct 14 7

Begin Movement

Fall Break Oct 14,15

Chapter 8
Online Illustration:
Mirror Tracing
Oct 21 8

Finish Movement
Begin Control Systems Theory
Control Systems Theory PowerPoint

Test 2, Fri Oct 26

Chapter 12
Oct 28 9

Basic Regulation/Sleep/Reproduction

Chapters 9, 10,12
Nov 04 10 Emotions Chapter 11
Nov 11 11 Learning

Chapter 13
Online Illustration:
Basic Hebbian Learning

Nov 18 12



Chapter 14
Nov 25 13

Higher Functions: Communication

Thanksgiving Break Nov 27-Dec 01
Research participation and extra-credit is due Monday
Nov 25

Chapter 14
Dec 02 14 Disorders Chapters 16-17
Dec 09-13 15 Final Exam All of the above

Class Assignments:

There will be three examinations. In a course of this type, all later information builds upon the foundation developed in earlier parts of the course. Therefore the course is cumulative and so are the examinations. Each examination will cover material from all previous sections of the course. Since later examinations will be covering more material they will be worth more points. The value of the examinations are as follows:

Exam 1

100 points 

Exam 2

150 points 

Exam 3 (Final)

200 points 

The first two examinations will be one hour in length and take place during a class period.  The final exam will take place during the final exam period at the end of the term.  While you are studying for your tests you might checkout the Neuropsychology Study Aids.  They might be of some help. I would appreciate feedback on the utility of this site.

In addition, periodically, throughout the term there will be homework assignments to be completed and handed in. They will be worth a total of 50 points on the final grade.

Laboratory Schedule

I have planned four labs.  The scheduling is not exactly determined and will depend upon how we proceed through these materials.  However, the will occur in the order below and a tentative schedule by weeks is indicated.  Each lab will have a different type of assignment to build up different laboratory skills.




 Anatomy: Sheep Brain Dissection

 Dissection Guide (as a webpage)
 Check out the Online Sheep Brain Dissection for extra help.
 Online Tutorial of the Mid-Saggital Cut

 Assignment:  Practicum (150 points)


 Physiological Methods: Mapping Receptive Fields

 Physiological Methods: Determining Receptive Fields

 Assignment: Results and Discussion Sections (50 points)


 Behavior: Learning and Shaping or Mirror Tracing?

 Operant Conditioning

 Assignment: Lab Report (100 points)


 Humans: Mapping the Visual Cortex: Self-Designed

 Assignment: Lab Report & Presentation (100 points for report, 50 points for presentation)

Week 14 Oral Presentations: Final Project on Week 14

Laboratory Assignments:

Dissection: At the end of the dissection, a practicum will be given to assess you knowledge of the structures you have found in the brain.  In addition, you will be given on essay question asking you to compare the general shape and organization of the sheep brain to the human brain.  This practicum will be worth 150 points.

Other Labs: For the rest of the labs, there will be laboratory reports.  The report for the format will be discussed later.  The physiology lab report will be worth 50 points and the Learning lab report will be worth 100 points each.  The physiology report will be worth less because it will not be a full report to give you a chance to focus on the writing up of results and of making conclusions from these results.  The last two reports are full lab reports. The lab format is found here.

In addition to the lab reports, once during the term, in  a small group, you will give an oral presentation on a topic related to the current lab.  A part of any job you will have will be the giving of oral presentations to both small and larger groups.  Hanover College recognizes this fact and makes the development of speaking skills a part of its core curriculum.  All LADR courses are required to have both a writing and a speaking component.  Class participation is one aspect of the speaking component in this course and the other component are the oral presentations.  Your small group will be given a part of the lab to present to the rest of the class.  The presentation will be worth 50 points.

There is also a final self-designed research project.  You will work in a simulated brain to describe the layout of the visual cortex using methods related to the physiology lab but far more realistic.  The methods will be exploratory.  You will have two weeks to collect the data at the end you will produce a report and a final presentation you will present during the lab on the last week.  More information will be forth-coming.

Research Participation

Part of the Natural World LADR objective is to show you different ways that science is conducted.  However, this class, and the biology class that preceded it can only show a small number of methods.  So this assignment is to give you experience with alternative methods, but from a psychological perspective.  You can earn this credit in three ways. First, you can participate in research that is being conducted by faculty members or students of Hanover College. By participating in these studies, you can gain valuable, first-hand knowledge about how research is conducted. You will receive 50 points for each 1/2 hour of participation. To receive credit, you MUST: a) obtain the signature of the researcher, and b) answer some basic questions about the nature and purpose of the study [see attached Research Participation Form]. Second, you can substitute two online studies for any one Hanover study found on this site:  While you cannot get the researchers signature you must still fill out the questions [see attached Online Participation Form].  Third, you can obtain the credit by writing a 2-page summary and critique of an approved psychological journal article.  The guidelines are here. You must complete two of these assignments by the end of the term.  You may earn extra credit by completing two more of these assignments at 25 points each. The final date to turn in Research Participation Forms and/or Article Critiques is Monday Nov 25

Grading and Policies

Class Participation and Miscellaneous Grades:

To help ensure that students actively participate there is a participation grade. As mentioned under the oral presentation section in the discussion of laboratory grades, class participation is part of the speaking requirement of the class.  This grade is worth 100 points.

Late Policy:

An assignment is late 1 minute after the beginning of class. One letter grade will be subtracted for the first day late and another letter grade for each additional day.  No assignment will be accepted more than three days late.

Grading Summary:

The table below summarize the grading for each class assignment.

Activity Points
Test 1 100
Test 2 150
Test 3 200
Sheep brain practicum 150
Physiological methods results 50
Learning Lab 100
Mapping the Brain paper 100
Mapping the Brain presentation 50
Homework 50
Research Participation 100
Participation 100
Total 1150

Grades will be converted to percentiles and letter grades will be assigned as follows:



Percentage Range 


100 - >93%


93 - 90%


<90 - 87%


<87 - >83%


83 - 80%


<80% - 77%


<77 - > 73%


73 - 70%


<70 - 67%


<67 - 60% 


< 60%