Psychology (Psy) Graduate Courses (2017-18)
Psy 101. Selected Topics in Psychology. Units to be determined by arrangement with the instructor: offered by announcement. Instructor: Staff.
CNS/SS/Psy/Bi 102 ab. Brains, Minds, and Society. 9 units (3-0-6): second, third terms. Introduction to the computations made by the brain during economic and social decision making and their neural substrates. First quarter: Reinforcement learning. Unconscious and conscious processing. Emotion. Behavioral economics. Goal-directed and habit learning. Facial processing in social neuroscience. Second quarter: History and mechanisms of reinforcement. Associative learning. Mentalizing and strategic thinking. Neural basis of prosociality. Exploration-exploitation tradeoff. Functions of basal ganglia. Instructors: Camerer, O'Doherty.
Psy/CNS 105 ab. Frontiers in Neuroeconomics. 5 units (1.5-0-3.5): first term. The new discipline of Neuroeconomics seeks to understand the mechanisms underlying human choice behavior, born out of a confluence of approaches derived from Psychology, Neuroscience and Economics. This seminar will consider a variety of emerging themes in this new field. Some of the topics we will address include the neural bases of reward and motivation, the neural representation of utility and risk, neural systems for inter-temporal choice, goals vs habits, and strategic interactions. We will also spend time evaluating various forms of computational and theoretical models that underpin the field such as reinforcement-learning, Bayesian models and race to barrier models. Each week we will focus on key papers and/or book chapters illustrating the relevant concepts. Not offered 2017-18.
Ec/Psy 109. Frontiers in Behavioral Economics. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. Behavioral economics studies agents who are biologically limited in computational ability, willpower and pure self-interest. An important focus is how those limits interact with economic institutions and firm behavior. This reading-driven course will cover new papers that are interesting and draw attention to a topic of importance to economics. Readings will cover lab and field experiments, axiomatic models of behavioral phenomena, and welfare. Each weekly discussion will begin with a 10-minute overview, then an inspection of the paper's scientific machinery, judge whether its conclusions are justified, and speculate about the scope of its generalizability. It should help students as referees and as writers. Assignments are two 1000-word summary-critiques. Not offered 2017-18.
CNS/SS/Psy 110 ab. Cognitive Neuroscience Tools. 9 units (3-0-6): second, third terms. This course covers tools and statistical methods used in cognitive neuroscience research. Topics vary from year to year depending on the interests of the students. Recent topics include statistical modeling for fMRI data, experimental design for fMRI, and the preprocessing of fMRI data. Not offered 2017-18. Instructor: Rangel.
Psy 115. Social Psychology. 9 units (3-0-6): first term. The study of how people think about other people and behave toward or around others. Topics include social cognition and emotions (theory of mind and empathy), their development from childhood to old age, impairments in social functions, altruism and cooperation, social groups (ingroup and outgroup), attribution and stereotypes. The class also presents evidence on how these social phenomena are implemented in the human brain and introduces behavioral and neuroscientific methods used in social psychology and social neuroscience. Instructors: Tusche, Kliemann.
Psy 125. Reading and Research in Psychology. Same as Psy 25, but for graduate credit: Not available for credit toward humanities-social science requirement. Not offered 2017-18.
Psy/CNS 130. Introduction to Human Memory. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. The course offers an overview of experimental findings and theoretical issues in the study of human memory. Topics include iconic and echoic memory, working memory, spatial memory, implicit learning and memory; forgetting: facts vs. skills, memory for faces; retrieval: recall vs. recognition, context-dependent memory, semantic memory, spreading activation models and connectionist networks, memory and emotion, infantile amnesia, memory development, and amnesia. Not offered 2017-18.
CNS/Psy/Bi 131. The Psychology of Learning and Motivation. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. This course will serve as an introduction to basic concepts, findings, and theory from the field of behavioral psychology, covering areas such as principles of classical conditioning, blocking and conditioned inhibition, models of classical conditioning, instrumental conditioning, reinforcement schedules, punishment and avoidance learning. The course will track the development of ideas from the beginnings of behavioral psychology in the early 20th century to contemporary learning theory. Not offered 2017-18.
Psy 133. Computation, Cognition and Consciousness. 9 units (3-0-6): second term. This course will critically examine the impact of recent advances in computational neuroscience for central problems of philosophy of mind. Beginning with a historical overview of computationalism (the thesis that mental states are computational states), the course will examine how psychological explanation may be understood in computational terms across a variety of levels of description, from sub-neuronal and single neuroncomputation to circuit and network levels. Specific issues will include: whether computation provides unifying psychological principles across species; whether specific mental states such as pain are computational states; digital/analog computation, dynamical systems, and mental representation; whether conscious experience can be understood as a computational process. Not offered 2017-18.
CNS/Bi/SS/Psy/NB 176. Cognition. 9 units (4-0-5): third term. The cornerstone of current progress in understanding the mind, the brain, and the relationship between the two is the study of human and animal cognition. This course will provide an in-depth survey and analysis of behavioral observations, theoretical accounts, computational models, patient data, electrophysiological studies, and brain-imaging results on mental capacities such as attention, memory, emotion, object representation, language, and cognitive development. Instructor: Shimojo.
SS/Psy/Bi/CNS 255. Topics in Emotion and Social Cognition. 9 units (3-0-6): third term. Emotions are at the forefront of most human endeavors. Emotions aid us in decision-making (gut feelings), help us remember, torment us, yet have ultimately helped us to survive. Over the past few decades, we have begun to characterize the neural systems that extend from primitive affective response such as fight or flight to the complex emotions experienced by humans including guilt, envy, empathy and social pain. This course will begin with an in-depth examination of the neurobiological systems that underlie negative and positive emotions and move onto weekly discussions, based on assigned journal articles that highlight both rudimentary and complex emotions. The final weeks will be devoted to exploring how the neurobiological systems are disrupted in affective disorders including anxiety, aggression and psychopathy. In addition to these discussions and readings, each student will be required to write a review paper or produce a short movie on a topic related to one of the emotions discussed in these seminars and its underlying neural mechanisms. Instructor: Mobbs.
SS/Psy/CNS 285. Topics in Social, Cognitive, and Decision Sciences. 3 units (3-0-0): second term. Select faculty will present their research background, methods, and a sampling of current questions/studies. Background readings and pdf of presentation will be provided. Instructors: Adolphs, Staff.