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Course Description

Digital rendering of a transparent human with brain highlighted and surrounded by a cloud of lines and dots

This course is a general introduction to the structure and function of the nervous system. The physiological basis of sensory (input) systems and the motor (output) system are examined as are central physiological bases of processes such as learning and memory.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

  1. understand how Biopsychology fits into the field of Neuroscience;
  2. have learned how Biopsychological research is conducted;
  3. have learned how the nervous system evolved, develops and functions;
  4. understand the basic sensory systems (e.g. touch, olfaction, audition);
  5. understand how eating and sleeping are controlled by the nervous system;
  6. have learned the basics of the brain's reward pathways and how the pathology of addiction develops;
  7. use this knowledge to understand how your behaviors are responses, guided by your nervous system, to the world around you; and
  8. have further developed your critical thinking skills allowing you to judiciously evaluate reported findings of scientific research.

Course Topics

This course is divided into the following twelve units:

  • Biopsychology as a Neuroscience
  • Evolution, Genetics, and Experience
  • Development of the Nervous System
  • The Anatomy of the Nervous System
  • Neural Conduction and Synaptic Transmission
  • The Research Methods of Biopsychology
  • The Visual System and Mechanisms of Perception
  • The Sensorimotor System
  • Brain Damage and Neuroplasticity
  • Drug Use, Drug Addiction and the Brain’s Reward Circuits
  • Biopsychology of Psychiatric Disorders


Additional Requirements

Prerequisite(s): 1 of PSYC*1000, PSYC*1100, PSYC*1200
Restriction(s): This is a Priority Access Course. Some restrictions may apply during some time periods.


Assessment Item Weight
Online Quizzes (8) 15%
Written Assignments (2) 10%
Midterm 1 20%
Midterm 2 20%
Voting Polls 5%
Online Final Exam 30%
Total 100%

Note: There is an optional written assignment which, if submitted, is weighted at 10% of the final grade. If the optional written assignment is submitted the final exam is weighted at 20% of the total course grade.


Additional Technical Requirements

This course will use the Respondus tool to invigilate one or more exams. In order to use Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor, you must meet the following technical requirements:

  1. Operating Systems: Windows 10, 8, 7; Mac OS X 10.10 or higher.
  2. Memory: Windows 2 GB RAM; Mac 512 MB RAM.
  3. For Mac users: Safari must function properly on the computer.
  4. Mac users must have Adobe Flash Player installed to Safari, even if a different browser is normally used.
  5. A broadband Internet connection. It is recommended that you access the Internet via a wired connection.

Technical Requirements

You are responsible for ensuring that your computer system meets the necessary system requirements. Use the browser check tool to ensure your browser settings are compatible and up to date (results will be displayed in a new browser window).

*Course details are subject to change.


Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in

Section Title
Behavioural Neuroscience I
September 10, 2020 to December 04, 2020
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Domestic Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $683.39 Click here to get more information
International Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $2,748.00 Click here to get more information
Available for Credit
0.5 units
Section Notes

Note:  If you are in a degree program at the University of Guelph, please DO NOT register using the link above.  You must register through WebAdvisor.

Section Materials
  • e-book (Confirmed) (Mandatory) (REVEL/EBOOK - ACCESS CODE - FOR ADDITIONAL FEE, LOOSELEAF CAN BE PURCHASED THROUGH REVEL PLATFORM ONCE STUDENT IS REGISTERED) The updated Revel link: https://console.pearson.com/enrollment/unlgo0ISBN Biopsychology by Pinel, J.P.J, and Barnes, S. © 2018 Pearson Education Canada 10th edition ISBN ISBN 9780134567730
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