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NBB Courses (Spring 2013)

Important: Always confirm offerings with appropriate Course and Time Roster
from the University Registrar.

Detailed course offerings are listed below
(subject to change).

Spring 2013


BioNB 1220 - The Senses: Perception Across Species and Culture

3 credits. Prerequisite: Permission of Knight Writing Program required. Letter grades only. TR 2:55-4:10. B106 CMS.  P. Shamble. This writing-intensive seminar focuses on the six senses we use everyday (sight, sound, taste, touch, smell, and proprioception). The senses, incorrectly thought of as uniform and unchanging, vary widely between individuals, across species, and through time. How can we explain that peasants in the ninteenth century heard bells differently than we do today, though our ear structure is exactly the same? How can mantis shrimp—a “lower animal”—see more colors than we can? What is proprioception, and how is it relevant to both war veterans and spiders? Readings are drawn from biology and history, and do not require previous knowledge of either field. Over the course of the semester, frequent written assignments will help students communicate more effective and clearly through their writing.
BioNB 2220 - Introduction to Neuroscience

3 cr #4581; 4 cr #4582/4583; 5 cr #14849/14848)
3 or 4 credits, variable.  S-U or letter grade option. Prerequisite: one year of college level biology for majors (general or animal physiology strongly recommended prerequisites) and one year of chemistry. Priority is given to students studying neurobiology and behavior. Not open to freshmen.  Permission of instructor required for 5 credit option. Three credits with no discussion section; 4 credits requires one disc per week and written projects; 5 credits requires one or two disc per week and participation in Writing in the Majors program; 4- or 5-credit option required of students in neurobiology and behavior program of study). May be taken independently of BIONB 2210. Limited to 15 students per 4-credit disc (contact lmm8 to choose disc section). Limited to 12 students in 5-credit option (students may not preregister for 5-credit option; interested students complete application form on first day of class). MWF 12:20-1:10. G01 URH. C.D. Hopkins and staff. An introduction to neuroscience: the structure and function of the nervous system of humans and other animals. Topics include the cellular and molecular basis for cell signaling, the functions of neurons in communication and in decision-making; neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, sensory systems, motor systems, neural development, learning and memory, and other complex brain functions. The course will emphasize how the nervous system is built during development, how it changes with experiences during life, how it functions in normal behavior, and how it is disrupted by injury and disease. Discussion sections will include a dissection of a preserved brain.


BioNB 3280 - Biopsychology of Learning and Memory
3 credits. S-U or Letter Grade option.  Prerequisite: two majors-level biology courses and either a biopsychology course or BioNB 2220.  Co-meets with Psych 6320.  Limited to 60 students.  MWF 11:15.  202 URH. T.J. DeVoogd. Surveys the approaches that have been or are currently being used to understand the biological bases for learning and memory. Topics include invertebrate, “simple system” approaches, imprinting, avian song learning, hippocampal and cerebellar function, or research using fMRI pathology in humans. Many of the readings are from primary literature.


BioNB 3690 - Chemical Ecology

3 credits. S–U or letter grade option. Prerequisite: one majors-level biology course and one semester introductory chemistry for majors or nonmajors or equivalents, or permission of instructor.  A University Course – this class highlights cross-disciplinary dialogue and debate.  MWF 11:15.A106 CMH. A. Agrawal, A. Kessler, R. Raguso, and J. Thaler. Why are chilies so spicy? This course examines the chemical basis of interactions between species and is intended for students with a basic knowledge of chemistry and biology. Focuses on the ecology and chemistry of plants, animals, and microbes. Stresses chemical signals used in diverse ecosystems, using Darwinian natural selection as a framework. Topics include plant defenses, microbial warfare, communication in marine organisms, and human pheromones.

BioNB 4110 Neuroscience Journal Club for Undergraduates
1 credit. S-U or letter grade option. Prerequisite: BioNB 2220 or equivalent, or co-registration in BioNB 2220.  M 4:35-5:35, W358 CMH.  C.D. Hopkins.   The Neuroscience Journal Club for Undergraduates is intended for Biology students who wish to become familiar with the scientific literature in modern neuroscience or behavior by learning to select, read, understand, analyze, and orally present summaries of original research papers from the current literature.   Students will become familiar with the structure of scientific papers, the differences between various journals and the culture of science, scientists, and authors.


BioNB 4300 - Experimental Molecular Neurobiology

4 credits. Letter grades only.  Prerequisite: BIOMG 3300 or BIOMG 3310  Recommended prerequisite:  BIOMG 2810.  Limited to 14 students.  Offered alternate years.  Dis TBA; Lab Tuesday all day. Location. D.L. Deitcher.  Experiments include PCR, cloning of DNA fragments, RNA purification, restriction digests, bacterial transformation, DNA sequencing, and protein interactions.  Experiments emphasize how molecular techniques can be applied to studying neurobiological problems.  For more information see

BIONB 4460 Plant Behavior Induced Plant Responses to Biotic Stresses, Lectures                                                                        

3 credits. S-U or letter grades.  Prerequisite: BIOEE 1610 or permission of instructor. MWF 2:30-3:20.  A409 CMH. A. Kessler, R. Raguso. How do plants respond to herbivore attack? What are the molecular, plant hormonal, metabolic mechanisms of these responses? What ecological consequences do these responses have for the fitness of the plants and their attackers? The course provides an overview of the plant’s myriad responses to herbivores and compares them with responses to pathogens. It gives an introduction to the study of induced plant responses in the lectures as well as practical independent and group-intensive work.

BIONB 4461 Plant Behavior - Induced Plant Responses to Biotic Stresses, Laboratory
1 credit. S-U or letter grades.  Prerequisite or corequisite:  BIOEE 4460 or BIONB 4460.  Limited to 12 students.  R 2:30-4:25. A409 CMH. A. Kessler, R. Raguso. Laboratory course covering topics presented in BIOEE 4460/BIONB 4460.


BIONB 4530 Speciation: Genetics, Ecology, and Behavior
4 credits. S-U or letter grades.  Prerequisite:  BIOEE 1780 and BIOMG 2810 or equivalents, or permission of instructor.  Offered alternate years.  Limited to 40 students. TR 10:10-11:25.A106 CMH. R. Harrison, K.L. Shaw. Advanced course in evolutionary biology focusing on the pattern and process of speciation and the nature and origin of behavioral, morphological, physiological, and ecological traits that form the intrinsic barriers to gene exchange. Lecture topics include species concepts and definitions, the history of ideas about speciation, the biological basis of intrinsic barriers to gene exchange, current models for the origin of such barriers, genetic architecture of speciation, rates of speciation. Emphasis is on developing a rigorous conceptual framework for discussing speciation and on detailed analysis of a series of case histories.
BioNB 4910 Principles of Neurophysiology
Lec#2689, M Lab #2690, T Lab #2691
4 credits. S–U or letter grades for students outside Neurobiology and Behavior concentration and graduate students, by permission of instructor. Prerequisite: BIONB 2220 or written permission of instructor. MW 10:10-11:00, 101 KND; Lab M or T 12:20-4:25, Lab location B150 CMS. B.R. Johnson. Laboratory-oriented course designed to teach the theory and techniques of cellular neurophysiology including computer acquisition and analysis of laboratory results. Extracellular and intracellular recording and voltage clamp techniques explore motor neuron and sensory receptor firing properties, and examine the cellular basis for resting and action potentials and synaptic transmission. Lecture time is used to introduce laboratory exercises and discuss results, to supplement laboratory topics, and to discuss primary research papers. Invertebrate preparations are used as model systems.
BioNB 7000 Introduction to Programming for Research in Neurobiology and Behavior 
4 credits. S/U grades only. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor required. TBA, B160 CMS. C. Linster.  Lab course offering an introduction to programming in Matlab with a focus on neurobiology and behavior.  Modeling, data acquisition, signal processing and data analysis.



BioNB 7210 - Introductory Graduate Survey in NBB
2 credits. S-U grades only. Concurrent registration in BIONB 2210 required. Requirement for graduate students majoring in neurobiology and behavior. W 4:30-6:00. A305 CMH. K.L. Shaw and staff. A yearlong, graduate-level seminar with presentations from lecturers in BIONB 2210 and BIONB 2220. Discussions of current research in the area of neurobiology or behavior that have been presented in the lecture class. A lab project and/or a writing component each week could be assigned to ensure engagement with the material.


BioNB 7640 - Plant-Insect Interactions Seminar
1 credit. (May be repeated for credit) S–U grades only. Permission of instructor is required for undergraduate students. TBA, location. A. Agrawal, A. Kessler, R. Raguso, and J. Thaler. Group intensive study of current research in plant-insect interactions. Topics vary from semester to semester but include chemical defense, coevolution, insect community structure, population regulation, biocontrol, tritrophic interactions, and mutualism.


BioNB 4200, Dis 201 – Vision and Art                 
1 or 2 credits (2 credits with final paper). S-U or Letter grade. Prerequisite: none. Limited to 20 students.  R 2:30-3:20, W364 CMH.  H.C. Howland. This seminar will explore the relationship between our visual system and objects of art.  We will trace the information in the retinal image from eye to cortex, and examine how that image is parsed, transformed and interpreted, resulting in our conscious impressions of it.


  BioNB 4200, Dis 202 – Comparative Neuroscience of Social Behavior
2   credits.  S-U or Letter grade.  Prerequisite: BIONB 2220 or permission of instructor.  Limited to 20 students.  W 2:55-4:10, W364 CMH.  D.P. McCobb. This course will focus on neurochemical, physiological, and anatomical mechanisms underlying social interactions, including maternal and paternal care, affiliative, mating, and pair bonding behaviors, and cooperative behavior between individuals related and unrelated. Insights from humans and all living vertebrate classes will be considered, as will information available from invertebrate animals. Students will help identify, select, and discuss relevant primary and review literature on the topic, and be graded largely on oral and written contributions to group learning.
BioNB 7201 – Research Design in the Study of Animal Social Behavior (Lunch Bunch - T 12:20)       #2693
BioNB 7202 – Topics in Neural Basis of Behavior (F 10:30)      #2694
  NOTE: Post-A NBB grads: GRAD 9001 - Graduate Dissertation Research    #12593 or #12595

Other department-related courses of interest

BioG 1440 - Introduction to Comparative Physiology
3 Credits. Prereq: none. S-U letter grades; biological sciences majors must take course for a letter grade. Because of the extensive overlap in content, students may not receive credit for both BioG 1400 and BioG 1105. T. Owens and E. Loew. An introductory physiology course intended for freshman and sophomore biology majors. The course integrates physiology from the cell to the organism with comparisons among animals, plants and microbes. Emphasis is on understanding of basic physiological concepts, stressing structure-function relationships and underlying physio-chemical mechanisms.


BioG 1500 - Investigative Biology Laboratory
2 Credits. Prereq: non. S-U or letter grades; biological sciences majors must tatke course for a letter grade. D. Deitcher, K.C. Chen and M. Sarvary (course contact: L. Lattin, lsg6). Designed for biology majors to provide lab experience with emphasis on processes of scientific investigations and to promote collaboration, communication, and literacy in science. Students gain expertise in methods including instrumentation used by biologists to construct new knowledge. Lab topics include physiology, genetics, evolution, ecology, biochemistry, and molecular biology.