PSYCH 2101 Section 2
  Fall 2015
Sabin 35
  10:00 MWF

Dr. Linda L. Walsh
  Meet My Family    My Garden  
** Genetics Quiz       2015 Highlights
Kalat Companion Website With Study Aids
Meet Our TA
Brain in the News
PROFESSOR: Dr. Linda L. Walsh
  Office: Bartlett 1075
Office Hrs:
1:30-2:30 MW; 10:30- 11:30 TTH;
times by appointment; drop-bys are welcome.
Mailbox: Bartlett 1068
  Phone: 273-2690         Email: walsh@uni.edu

 Course Description
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"How much of this stuff will be on the exam?"

Yes, our syllabus has a lot of built- in links, which have a lot of links, which have a lot of links . . .
Relax, I have included  these links to try to help you learn difficult biopsych material by providing images, animations, additional examples, or practice exercises. Many of the web links I will actually use as part of lecture. Feel free to go beyond what we get to in lecture however - that's often how you'll find what in biopsych is most personally meaningful or useful to you. What you find will reinforce the textbook and lectures, and so it will also help you to do better on the exams. The more ways that you interact with the vocabulary, concepts and findings we will be discussing, the better your memory and understanding of the material will be. Resources for Biopsychology:
Neuroscience for Kids - Glossary                          Glossary of Genetic Terms               Kalat Study Aids
Etymology of Neuroscience Terms                         Biopsychology Newslink                     Common Behavior Genetic Terms

Neuroanatomy Resources
The digital anatomist A very comprehensive site featuring pictures and 3 dimensional reconstruction of the human brain. On-line quiz on each image. (slow and shaky connection).
The whole brain atlas: A comprehensive atlas of 2 dimensional scans of the human brain using techniques such as CT or MRI, including normal anatomy and pathology.

Some general comments on the course and grading:
    Many students are nervous about taking a psychology class that is so biological. Like courses in the natural sciences, there is a fair amount of new vocabulary - much of which is hard to pronounce and requires some special effort to learn. I believe that any student - no matter what their background- can do well on our exams if they are conscientious about doing the reading, attending class, and making use of some "active" study techniques (flashcards, practice test questions, re-copying notes) - doing something to drill other than just re-reading class material. But since some students suffer from test anxiety and feel their test performance does not reflect what they are learning, I have included a variety of assignments as other ways in which you can earn points and demonstrate your grasp of class material.

Take the online genetics quiz to make sure you are ready for the next assignment (5 pts) (due 9/2) You may turn in a hard copy in class or email your answers to

Family Genetics : Tracing Trait Inheritance in Your Family (up to 30 pt) (Due 9/9)
Investigate the pattern of inheritance in your family.   For each of 6 traits record the phenotype shown by each family member and then try to deduce their genotype by looking at the distribution of trait characteristics in family members. If you don't have blood relatives easily available but do have access to another family (boyfriend's, girlfriend's, roommate's, etc.), you may use them for your data sample. Each data box on the sheet should include TWO things: 1) the phenotype (what trait you saw in that person) and 2) the genotype (what you can reason about the 2 gene allele combination that the person has for that trait.

Label These Brains (17 pts)  due 9/16.

Brain Game Neuroanatomy Notes  (up to 10 pt + EC) (Due 9/21) Note: doing a good job on the assignment and game should help you prepare for the test.
Read class notes and the anatomy Modules of the text as well as the following websites providing information on the functions of different regions: Explore the NS  (click on Divisions of the Nervous System, Functional Divisions of the Cortex, Right Down the Middle, and Split Brain Experiments), Lobes, and  Areas of Cerebral Cortex  (by the way, these last 2 are from a site in Brazil- sometimes you may not get connected, but keep trying!). Complete the neuroanatomy handout noting the location and, whenever possible, the function of all the parts of the brain and nervous system listed on the handout.  You might also want to make yourself some diagrams and also include any additional brain regions we have already discussed in class. You’ll use your assignment to help your team earn extra credit points in the brain game. Everyone who turns in a satisfactorily completed handout will earn 10 pts.

 Rules for The Brain Game
1.  Bring your completed handout to class to receive 10 assignment points.  No completed handout, no points, no exceptions. Your handout will be very important to you and your group because you cannot use your textbook to answer questions. You may however supplement your handout with additional diagrams or notes that you think may help you during the game.
2.  Sit with your group.You will share notes and work together with others in your group to answer questions and win points.
3.  During the game each group will use their knowledge of brain anatomy and the functions of different parts of the nervous system to either locate the region of brain involved in a particular case or "diagnose" what area of the brain is damaged on the basis of behavioral symptoms.  I’ll give your group a set of symptoms – e.g. a person who has a brain tumor that causes deafness – and your group will identify which brain area may be involved.
4.  Correct Answer:  If your group answers correctly, your group receives a point. If your group answers incorrectly, you receive no points and the next group can steal the question.

Neuron Structure Exercise  (10 Pts) Hard copy due 9/25 .

The Ear  and Eye  (17 pts) due   10/14.  Note: You are responsible for learning, on your own, how these parts function.

Testosterone Assignment (30 pts) (Real Player Help) Due 11/18 .
Listen to Testosterone Show  (click on little speaker icon)
Link to download RealPlayer if necessary

Listen to the 3 cases presented in the first 45 minutes of this archived National Public Radio show from the program "This American Life".
React to the impact of hormones on the individuals and answer the questions about each case in terms of the physiological mechanisms we discussed in class.

In -Class Group Work (~ 20 points over the semester)
Periodically  we will do point-earning in-class group work. Most often there will be work sheets that accompany these activities. Successful completion of the worksheet and associated activity earns points for the participating group members. These points cannot be made up if you are absent. I'm hoping the group work will be fun and improve your learning and motivation.

Attendance/Class Participation 20 pts

Special Note: Biopsychology can be a challenging course for those who have not developed the study strategies necessary for detail-laden natural science courses with lots of terminology. Such courses require regular periodic reading, studying and drilling, including testing yourself to assess your mastery of the material long before our in-class exams. Our text comes with a way to do this important testing. The online MyPsychLab for the Pinel text has both pre-tests and post-tests to determine it your reading and studying is effective . There is also a final exam for each chapter. Using these aids gives you practice and let's you know if you need to change your study strategy before you do poorly on an in-class exam. The exams also allow you to predict what test score you are likely to earn in class, because our in-class test questions will be very similar to (and sometimes exactly the same as) the MyPsychLab questions. So if you get 70% of the MyPsychLab questions for a chapter correct, you are pretty likely to get 70% of our in-class questions on that chapter correct. If you hope to earn a B, keep practicing until you score in the eighty percents or if you want that A, in the ninety per cents on MyPsychLab.  I am willing to give you course credit for using this important course resource. Each chapter final exam you earn 70% or better on will earn you 5 pts (in addition to improving you performance on our in-class exams) - that would be 55 points if you did so for all of our covered chapters.

10 pt Extra Credit. Keep a blank videotape or DVD handy to record any shows, segments, or news reports on the biological  issues we cover in this class or search online for relevant segments.. Turn the tape/DVD/url in to me with a critical summary of the program, why you think it's relevant to the class, and a critical evaluation of the segment using an evaluation handout.(tape/DVD will be returned). May be done once for credit.

Makeup exams are strongly discouraged. If a makeup is necessary you must contact me on or before the scheduled day of the regular exam, provide documentation on why you missed the exam, and the makeup must be taken before the exams are returned to the class. Makeup exams may include an extra page of essay questions. Except under extraordinary circumstances, only 1 makeup exam per student will be allowed per semester.

Grading: You must have a passing average (60% or better) to pass this course. If you have a passing test average, then your grade will be based on the total number of points accumulated during the semester. Because there will be multiple opportunities to earn a few extra credit point this semester, these grade cutoffs will be strictly adhered to.

80.0 - 82.9% 
67.0 - 69.9% 
90.0 - 92.9% 
77.0 - 79.9%
63.0 - 66.9% 
87.0 - 89.9% 
73.0 - 76.9% 
60.0 - 62.9% 
83.0 - 86.9% 
70.0 - 72.9% 
0.0 - 59.9% 
Grades are based on the table above EXCEPT that you must have a passing average (60% or better) on the exams to pass the course (you may not have a failing average on quizzes/exams and pass just on the basis of assignment and EC points). You must receive a grade of C- or better in order for this course to count towards psychology major/minor requirements.

Makeup exams are strongly discouraged. If a makeup is necessary you must contact me on or before the scheduled day of the regular exam, provide documentation on why you missed the exam, and the makeup must be taken before the exams are returned to the class. Except under extraordinary circumstances, only 1 makeup exam per student will be allowed per semester.

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About Your Prof

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Education: B.S. (Psychology) University of Illinois, Chicago; M.A. (Biopsychology) University of Chicago; Ph.D. (Biopsychology) University of Chicago
Married:  James Walsh (attorney)
Children:  3 girls (Jennifer, Sara, & Annie)
Hobbies:  Gardening , gourmet cooking, travel, reading , concert-hopping
Most unusual experiences: Performing brain surgery on rats, riding an elephant (twice!), wearing a live python around my neck,
climbing the Great Pyramid, flying in the Goodyear blimp, visiting ancient Greek ruins, giving birth
Goals: Continue to learn for the rest of my life, enjoy my professional and private lives, help others discover psychology (especially biopsychology)  

"Gentlemen, look on this wonder! 
Whatever the bids of the bidders, 
They cannot be high enough for it; 
For it the globe lay preparing quintillions 
of years, without one animal or plant; 
For it the revolving cycles truly and steadily roll'd. 
In this head the all-baffling brain; 
In it and below it, the makings of heroes." 
      - Walt Whitman -  I Sing the Body Electric, 1855
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This page was prepared by Linda Walsh, Dept. of Psychology,

University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0505

for the class Biosychology.

Last updated 8/7/15.