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Core Courses

Foundations of Behavior

Content: This course presents an introduction to evolutionary processes and biological bases of behavior. Lectures and readings will be organized around a developmental and life history perspective and will emphasize the importance of context in biological mechanisms and the interaction of social life, behavior, and cognition.

Examples drawn especially from humans and nonhuman primates will be used to place human behavior in the context of other species and to illustrate the dual inheritance of biology and culture in our species.

Topics covered will include:

  • evolutionary mechanisms
  • adaptation
  • phylogenetic constraints
  • neural and neuroendocrine mechanisms of behavior
  • life history theory
  • developmental programs
  • principles of allometry
  • sexual selection and alternative reproductive strategies
  • social bonds and socialization
  • cognitive bases of social interaction in humans and non-humans
WhenFall (both Atlanta and Oxford campuses)
ParticularsTwo hourly exams and a final.
Co-requisitesBIOL 141

Introduction to Neurobiology

Content: The first part of this course will focus on the electrophysiological properties of neurons, a crucial first step for understanding brain function. We will discuss the generation and propagation of action potentials, neurotransmitter release, and how ion channels and receptors determine the membrane potential and ultimately whether or not the action potential is passed to the next neuron.

Also, we will examine the plasticity of this system and how the synapse is changed by learning. The second part of this course will expand upon these neuronal properties to investigate the processing of somatosensory and motor information.

WhenFall & Spring
TextsNeuroscience by Purves et al., 5th Edition
ParticularsThree in-class exams and a comprehensive final.
PrerequisitesBIOL 141 and 142 and two semesters of chemistry are required; completion or concurrent enrollment in Intro Physics is recommended.

Behavioral Neuroscience

This course presents an integrated coverage of work at the intersection of animal behavior, evolution, and cellular/systems neuroscience. The course surveys the major areas of behavioral neuroscience.

WhenSpring & Fall
PrerequisitesNBB 301 (BIOL 360) or PSYC 110 is highly recommended.

NBB 401 - Perspectives in Neuroscience and Behavior

A writing intensive Senior Seminar utilizing the primary literature to examine current issues, trends, and controversies in the field of Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology.

WhenFall (NBB 401W), Summer (NBB 402W)
ParticularsGrades are based primarily on written work
PrerequisitesNBB 201, 301, and 302 or permission of the instructor

NBB 402 (W) -Global Neuro & Behavior

This course is only offered on NBB Study Abroad Programs. All versions of NBB 402 will use primary literature to examine current issues, trends, and controversies in the field of Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology.

However, not all versions of NBB 402 will be offered as a writing intensive seminar. Please consult the particular study abroad program and plan accordingly with your major advisor.