Psychology 222: Physiological Psychology

Psychology 222: Physiological Psychology

Psychology 222: Physiological psychology

Winter 2008


Meeting time:1:30-3:50pm, Tuesday & Thursday, CC3357

Instructor:Ann Voorhies, Ph.D.

Office:IB 2423C #13

Office hours: Tuesday, 4-5pm, and by appointment


Course website:

Required reading:

  • Breedlove, Rosenzweig & Watson (2007). Biological Psychology (5th ed.).
  • Articles on electronic reserve, linked through the course website.

Email: Check your email at least once per day. Schedule changes and important information will be communicated via email.

Please turn off all cell phones and digital devices* BEFORE the start of class. Taking phone calls and text messaging during class will not be tolerated. If a family emergency necessitates having access to your phone, keep it on vibrate, and inform me before class starts. *Recording devices are permitted.

Disabled students: To request academic accommodations due to a disability, contact Disability Services (Room CC2445B). Provide me with a letter from DS indicating the accommodations required, so that we can discuss your needs for the class.

Course goals: This course is an introduction to the principles of physiological psychology. The assigned readings, tests, and writing assignments are designed to enhance and assess your understanding of the topics presented in lecture.

Following this class, students will be able to:

1. Identify basic brain structures and functions, including:

- Cellular mechanisms

- Brain regions and connections between them

- Basic neurochemistry and its effects on behavior

2. Use understanding of structures to describe physiological behaviors such as sensation and perception, sleeping, reproduction, emotion, ingestion, learning and human communication.

3. Use knowledge of brain structures and functions to analyze and evaluate human behaviors in real-world situations, including personal experience.

4. Identify and describe the hypothesis, methodology and results reported in scientific papers.

5. Use knowledge of physiological psychology to critically evaluate the validity of media reports.


There will be 4 tests throughout the quarter. Each test will be worth 50 points. Tests will be based on lectures and assigned reading (including assigned articles). Your lowest test grade will be dropped, resulting in a total of 150 possible test points. Because the lowest test grade is dropped, there will be NO MAKE-UP TESTS.

If you miss one test, you will receive a zero, which will be dropped. If you take all of the tests, your lowest score will be dropped. This policy is designed to give every student the right and responsibility to determine when and why a test might be missed. Accordingly, it is also class policy that you should not contact me regarding a missed test.


If you feel that an answer marked as incorrect is legitimately correct, you may submit an appeal in writing. To have your appeal considered, please note the following:

  • Submit a carefully thought out, typed explanation of which question you got wrong and why you feel that the answer you selected is correct. You must justify your answer with information from the notes or reading.
  • Rebuttals containing the words "In my opinion" will not be considered. I am happy to consider all facts presented, but this is not debate class. You are not tested on your opinions.

I will consider all appeals adhering to the instructions above, but cannot guarantee a change in your grade. All appeals are due no later than one week (7 days) following the posting of test grades, and may be submitted in person or via email.

Pop quizzes

There will be quizzes given periodically on the material covered in class and in the reading. You are expected to have done the assigned reading before class. Each quiz will be worth 5 points. If you miss a quiz, those points are lost. NO MAKE-UP QUIZZES WILL BE GIVEN. Thus, it is in your best interest to be prepared and in class. Because this class requires daily review to keep up with the material, these quizzes are designed to help you keep up and gauge your own understanding before each test.

Final exam–Wednesday, March 19, 3:15-5:15pm (Note the unusual date and time!)

The final exam (worth 75 points) isrequired,and will take place in CC3357. It will consist of 50 questions on material covered in lectures and readings since test #4, and 25 questions on concepts presented throughout the quarter.


Group project

You will participate in a quarter-long group project studying a specific neurological disorder. Several components of this assignment will be turned in throughout the quarter, for a combined total of 100 points. Full details on this assignment will be provided in class.

Assignments handed in late will lose 2 points from the project grade for each day late.

Class Schedule

Date / Reading / Topic / Assignment due
Week 1
Tuesday / 1/1/2008 / Happy New Year!
Thursday / 1/3/2008 / Chapter 1, 2 / Introduction, The nervous system
Week 2
Tuesday / 1/8/2008 / Chapter 2 / The nervous system
Thursday / 1/10/2008 / Chapter 3 / Neurophysiology / Sign up for group project topics
Week 3
Tuesday / 1/15/2008 / Chapter 3 / Neurophysiology
Thursday / 1/17/2008 / Hour 1: Chapters 1-3 / Test 1
Hour 2: Chapter 4 / Psychopharmacology / Group meetings
Week 4
Tuesday / 1/22/2008 / Chapter 4 / Psychopharmacology / Group project bibliography due
Thursday / 1/24/2008 / The Addicted Brain* / Psychopharmacology
Week 5
Tuesday / 1/29/2008 / Ch. 9 (pp. 249-270) / Sensory processing: Auditory/Vestibular
Thursday / 1/31/2008 / Ch. 10 / Sensory processing: Vision / Group project outline due
Week 6
Tuesday / 2/5/2008 / Hour 1: Chapters 4, 9 & 10 / Test 2
Hour 2: Chapter 12 / Sex & Reproduction
Thursday / 2/7/2008 / Chapters 12, 13 (pp. 394-415) / Reproduction, Ingestive Behaviors
The Maternal Brain*
Week 7
Tuesday / 2/12/2008 / Ch. 13 (pp. 394-415) / Ingestive Behaviors
Thursday / 2/14/2008 / Chapter 14 / Sleep & Biological Rhythms / Individual report draft due
Week 8
Tuesday / 2/19/2008 / Chapter 14 / Sleep & Biological Rhythms / Peer editing due
Thursday / 2/21/2008 / Hour 1: Chapters 12-14 / Test 3
Hour 2: Chapter 15 (pp. 451-472) / Emotions
Week 9
Tuesday / 2/26/2008 / Chapter 18 / Learning & Memory
Thursday / 2/28/2008 / Chapter 17 / Learning & Memory / Final individual reports due
Week 10
Tuesday / 3/4/2008 / Hour 1: Chapter 15 (pp. 451-472), 17, 18 / Test 4
Hour 2: Chapter 19 (pp. 577-593) / Human language & Communication
Thursday / 3/6/2008 / Ch. 19 (pp.577-593) / Human language & Communication
Week 11
Tuesday / 3/11/2008 / pp. 84-84 (box 3.3) 210-213, 346-348, 481-494 / Neurological Disorders and Damage / Group presentations
Thursday / 3/13/2008 / pp. 84-84 (box 3.3) 210-213, 346-348, 481-494 / Neurological Disorders and Damage / Group presentations
Wednesday / 3/19/2008 / 3:15-5:15pm / Comprehensive final exam

You are responsible for keeping track of how you are doing in the course. I recommend you keep a running total of your points as the quarter progresses.

Points earned
Test 1 (50 pts)
Test 2 (50 pts)
Test 3 (50 pts)
Test 4 (50 pts)
Group meeting (5 pts)
Group bibliography (10 pts)
Group outline (10 pts)
Peer-editing (5 pts)
Individual brief report (30 pts)
Group presentation (30 pts)
Group participation (10 pts)
Final exam (75 pts)
Quizzes (5 pts each/40 pts total)
Possible points total = 365 / Total =

Grading Scale

Your final grade will be calculated from the total points on your group project assignments, 3 highest test scores, total quiz points and final exam score.

Your grade will be determined as follows:

Score = (Points / 365) * 100

Decimal score = (Score 55) / 10

For example, a total of 288 points out 365 possible points would result in a score of:

(288 / 365) * 100 = 78.90

The decimal score, reported to the registrar, would be:

(78.90 55) / 10 = 2.4.


Because this class involves writing projects in which students will be writing about the same topic, it is expected that your papers will be similar to each other. However, if your assignment, or a part of your assignment is identical (or very similar) to another student's, it will appear that you are guilty of plagiarism. “Very similar” means that the papers are alike, but a few words are changed, or the sentences are alike, but in a different order, etc. This applies not only to papers in this class this quarter, but also to papers from previous quarters and to written materials published in the scientific literature, on the web, or any other source. Your work MUST be your own! Any work containing plagiarized material will automatically receive 0 pts for that assignment. You are responsible for knowing what constitutes plagiarism.

The following section was copied verbatim from the University of Washington’s policy on plagiarism Please read it carefully!

One of the most common forms of cheating is plagiarism, using another's words or ideas without proper citation. When students plagiarize, they usually do so in one of the following ways:
1. Using another writer's words without proper citation. If you use another writer's words, you must place quotation marks around the quoted material and include a footnote or other indication of the source of the quotation.
2. Using another writer's ideas without proper citation. When you use another author's ideas, you must

indicate with footnotes or other means where this information can be found. Your instructors want to know which ideas and judgments are yours and which you arrived at by consulting other sources. Even if you arrived at the same judgment on your own, you need to acknowledge that the writer you consulted also came up with the idea.
3. Citing your source but reproducing the exact words of a printed source without quotation marks. This makes it appear that you have paraphrased rather than borrowed the author's exact words.
4. Borrowing the structure of another author's phrases or sentences without crediting the author from whom it came. This kind of plagiarism usually occurs out of laziness: it is easier to replicate another writer's style than to think about what you have read and then put it in your own words. The following example is from A Writer's Reference : by Diana Hacker (New York, 1989, p. 171).
Original: If the existence of a signing ape was unsettling for linguists, it was also startling news for animal behaviorists. Unacceptable borrowing of words: An ape who knew sign language unsettled linguists and startled animal behaviorists.
Unacceptable borrowing of sentence structure: If the presence of a sign-language-using chimp was disturbing for scientists studying language, it was also surprising to scientists studying animal behavior.
Acceptable paraphrase: When they learned of an ape's ability to use sign language, both linguists and animal behaviorists were taken by surprise.
5. Borrowing all or part of another student's paper or using someone else's outline to write your own paper.
6. Using a paper writing "service" or having a friend write the paper for you. Regardless of whether you pay a stranger or have a friend do it, it is a breach of academic honesty to hand in work that is not your own or to use parts of another student's paper.
7. In computer programming classes, borrowing computer code from another student and presenting it as your own. When original computer code is a requirement for a class, it is a violation of the University's policy if students submit work they themselves did not create.

Note: The guidelines that define plagiarism also apply to information secured on Internet websites. Internet references must specify precisely where the information was obtained and where it can be found.

You may think that citing another author's work will lower your grade. But in fact, as you progress in your studies, you will be expected to show that you are familiar with important work in your field and can use this work to further your own thinking. Your professors write this kind of paper all the time. The key to avoiding plagiarism is that you show clearly where your own thinking ends and someone else's begins.