Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology
Behavioral Neuroscience studies the roles of the central nervous system in controlling overt and covert behavior of humans and animals. Our curriculum is hierarchical, with an introductory course in Psychobiology (PSY 241), which qualifies students for four courses at the 300 level. Physiology of Behavior (PSY 340) provides a detailed look at neurological mechanisms that underlie sensory, perceptual, motor, motivated, developmental, learned, and abnormal processes. Neuropsychology (PSY 341) provides an introduction to the effects of damage to and diseases of the brain on cognitive deficits in patients. Psychopharmacology (PSY 342) provides an introduction to the interaction with cellular and synaptic transmitter processed with chemical agents that alter behavior and cognition. Evolutionary Psychology (PSY 346I) examines the application of principles of evolution to behavior of individuals and small groups. Advanced work at the undergraduate and graduate level can be accomplished with three additional courses. Research in Physiological Psychology (PSY 441/541) is a laboratory course that provides practical training in the methods of Behavioral Neuroscience. Cognitive Neuroscience (PSY 444/544) examines the neural systems that underlie sensory, perceptual, linguistic, memory, planning, executive, and abnormal processes. Finally, Seminar in Sensation, Perception and Physiological Psychology (PSY 631) is a graduate seminar that provides advanced reading on current research.
Most psychologists view the brain as the organ of behavior, and the Department of Psychology at CSULB considers this concept to be central enough to require all majors to take at least the introductory course, Psychobiology (PSY 241). Students who concentrate in this area are well prepared in behavioral neuroscience, psychology, kinesiology, biology, neuroscience, nursing, and related fields. Many go on to graduate training, leading to the doctoral degree and hence to research or teaching positions. Many stop short of the doctorate and take technical, applied, or administrative jobs in settings such as clinics and hospitals.
- Diane Lee
- Lisa Maxfield
- Arturo Zavala
- Betty Deckard