Behavioral Neuroscience

Number of credits: 6 ECTS Price: 840 €
Price for UAB students*: 200 €
*Max. 5 places
Teaching Language: English Place: UAB Campus

Teaching Period: 15 July to 2 August

Contact: summer@uab.cat

Professor: Marta Portero, Gemma Guillazo, Margarita Martí, Anna Vale

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Enrolment guidelines
 


PROFESSOR BIO INFORMATION

Marta Portero-Tresserra is Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the UAB. She is researcher in the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory group from the Institute of Neurosciences of the UAB. She is Associated Lecturer at UAB teaching courses of Psychobiology, Physiological Psychology and Neurobiology. She has published several articles in national and international specialized journals. Co-author of the book: "10 ideas clave Neurociencia y Educación” (Editorial Graó).

Gemma Guillazo-Blanch is a Tenured Lecturer of the Department of Psychobiology and Methodology at the UAB. She is the principal investigator of a research group, belonging to the Institute of Neurosciences of the UAB, that has as its main objective the evaluation of different treatments that could fundamentally enhance attention and memory processes in animal models of cognitive impairment.

Margarita Martí Nicolovius is Professor at the UAB and teaches courses of Psychobiology, Physiological Psychology and Neurobiology. Currently, she is the dean of the Faculty of Psychology, an ordinary member of the Spanish Society of Neuroscience (SENC), and coordinates a group of experimental research on caloric restriction, aging and memory.

Anna Vale-Martínez. My research has mainly focused on memory modulation, and specifically on memory enhancement through various treatments, such as electrical and chemical brain stimulation. In 2002, I obtained a permanent position as a tenured professor in the psychobiology Department at the UAB. In 2005, I continued my training as a researcher at the Laboratory of Psychobiology of the Open University (UNED).


ACADEMIC GUIDE

Contents overview


Behavioral Neuroscience has a multidisciplinary character since it requires the knowledge of many sciences, mainly Psychology, Biology and Chemistry. The general objective of this interesting subject is to understand and explore the information of the neurobiological bases of some human behaviors, specifically, the sleep-wake cycle, the motivated behaviors, the addiction process, the emotions and learning and memory processes.

At the end of the course, the student will be able to:
  •     Know and explain the neurobiological bases and functions of sleep and waking
  •     Comprehend the specific mechanisms of drugs of abuse and the addiction process
  •     Describe the neural and hormonal control of different motivated behaviours, such as ingestive behavior and sexual and parental behaviors
  •     Understand and explain the biological bases of emotions and identify and analyze their implications for health
  •     Know the biological bases of the learning and memory processes, as well as the mechanisms of neural brain plasticity

Knowledge, skills and competences the student will acquire:
  •     To identify, describe and relate the biology of human behavior and psychological functions
  •     To analyze scientific texts written in the English language
  •     To develop autonomous learning strategies
  •     To develop a critical thinking and know how to communicate effectively
  •     Teamwork
  •     Use of different information sources and communication technologies for diverse purposes

Contents

Week 1
  •     Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience: Breaking down myths about the brain (Classes 1-3)
  •     Sleep and biological rhythms (Classes 4-5). What is sleep. Why do we sleep. Physiological Mechanisms.

Week 2
  •     Reward and addiction (Classes 6-7). Brain and reinforcement. Substance abuse.
  •     Ingestive Behavior (Class 8). What is metabolism? Signals to start and to stop a meal.
  •     Reproductive Behavior (Classes 9-10). Sexual development. Hormonal and neural control of sexual behavior.

Week 3
  •     Emotion (Classes 11-12). Fear, aggression, feelings and emotions, stress.
  •     Learning and memory (Classes 13-15). Types of learning and memory. Brain plasticity.


Teaching / learning activities

Week 1
  •     Individual assessment on previous knowledge about the content of the course and interests.
  •     Class discussions and mapping exercise.
  •     Lecture (theoretical class).
  •     Self-assessment exercise.
  •     Completion of practical exercises and problem solving.
  •     Planning for the oral presentation.
  •     Workshop and problem-based learning (PBL case).
  •     Students’ oral presentations (Evidence of learning 3).

Week 2
  •     Class discussions and mapping exercise.
  •     Lecture (theoretical class).
  •     Self-assessment exercise.
  •     Completion of practical exercises and problem solving.
  •     Planning for the oral presentation.
  •     Workshop and problem-based learning (PBL case).
  •     Short questions exam (Evidence of learning 1).
  •     Students’ oral presentations (Evidence 3).


Week 3
  •     Class discussions and mapping exercise.
  •     Lecture (theoretical class).
  •     Self-assessment exercise.
  •     Completion of practical exercises and problem solving.
  •     Planning for the oral presentation.
  •     Workshop and problem-based learning (PBL case).
  •     Short questions exam (Evidence of learning 2).
  •     Students’ oral presentations (Evidence 3).


Evaluation

The evaluation of the subject is continuous and will be achieved with 3 learning evidences:

1. Evidence of learning 1: EV1: 30%. Short questions exam: open questions about the sleep and biological rhythms, reward and addiction and Ingestive behavior. (Friday – 2nd Week).

2. Evidence of learning 2, EV2: 30%. Short questions exam: open questions about the reproductive behavior, emotions and learning and memory. (Friday – 3rd Week).

3. Evidence of learning 3, EV3: 40%. Oral group presentation. Each Friday students will perform a short oral presentation (15 min + discussion) about selected topics. Presentation will be in groups of 2 or 3 students.


Links and references
  •     Carlson, N. R. & Birkett, M. A., (2017). Physiology of behavior. 12th Edition. Pearson Higher Ed.
  •     Morgado-Bernal, I. (2011). Learning and memory consolidation: linking molecular and behavioral data. Neuroscience, 176, 12-19.
  •     Morgado-Bernal, I. (2014). Emociones e inteligencia social: las claves para una alianza entre los sentimientos y la razón. Grupo Planeta Spain.
  •     Bear, M. F., Connors, B. W. & Paradiso, M. A. (2016). Neuroscience: exploring the brain. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health España, S.A.
  •     Gazzaniga, M.S., Ivry, R.B., Mangun, G.R., & Steven, M.S. (2014). Cognitive neuroscience: the biology of the mind. New York: Norton & Company.
  •     Online sources:
  •     Allen Institute for Brain Science. (2018). Allen Brain Atlases and Data. Retrieved from https://www.brain-map.org/
  •     Damasio, A. (2011). The quest to understand consciousness. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/antonio_damasio_the_quest_to_understand_consciousness?referrer=playlist-how_does_my_brain_work
  •     MIT. (n.d.). News on Neuroscience topic. Retrieved from http://news.mit.edu/topic/neuroscience
  •     National Center for Biotechnology and Information. (n.d.). PubMed [Database]. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/
  •     University of Washington. (2018). Neuroscience for Kids. Retrieved from http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/neurok.html