Our research and teaching go hand in hand, with each informing the other. Our undergraduate and graduate students serve as teaching assistants and instructors of record, developing the next generation of scientists and thinkers.
Introduction to Biopsychology
Behavioral Neuroscience (aka biopsychology) represents the merging of Psychology and Biology. At its core, Behavioral Neuroscience seeks to explain complex behaviors by the physiological processes that underlie them. During the semester you will learn about how behavior is generated in response to events in the world around us. You will gain a significant understanding of the nervous system, how it is organized and how it works. We will cover how our bodies are built to receive information from the senses and turn that information into plans to move our bodies to react to those sensations. We will also cover how the endocrine system, which releases hormones, interacts with the nervous system and influences behavior. Finally, we will consider a biological basis for higher order function (e.g. learning and memory) as well as psychological disorders such as schizophrenia and drug addiction.
Behavioral Neuroscience (aka biopsychology) represents the merging of Psychology and Biology. At its core, Behavioral Neuroscience seeks to explain complex behaviors by the physiological processes that underlie them. To accomplish this, the field relies on a huge variety of research methods, from behavioral to electrophysiological and molecular biology. During the semester, you will learn about how these methods are applied to the study of biopsychology through real laboratory experiences. Through these experiences, you will gain a significant understanding of the nervous system, how it is organized, functions, and controls behavior. Additionally, you will gain valuable (and in many cases necessary) skill in research methods and lab animal handling.
Capstone on Addiction Neuroscience
Addiction is a chronic, relapsing psychiatric disorder defined by compulsive drug seeking despite the tremendous negative consequences. In this course, we will investigate the neurobiological systems altered by drug abuse, how these are altered during the transition from casual abuse to addiction, and discuss current treatments for addiction and their mechanisms of action. This course will have a strong focus on the molecular mechanisms of drugs of abuse and addiction, with a heavy emphasis on animal models of addiction.
Advanced Biological Bases of Behavior
Behavioral Neuroscience (aka biopsychology) represents the merging of Psychology and Biology, driven by our understanding that all behavior is caused by biological processes. Thus, at its core, the field seek to explain complex behaviors by the physiological processes that underlie them, including both healthy and unhealthy behaviors. During the semester, you will gain a significant understanding of the nervous system, how it is organized, and how it works. We will discuss how our bodies are built to receive information from the senses, which convert that information into plans to move our bodies in reaction to those sensations. We will also discuss how the endocrine system, which releases hormones, interacts with the nervous system and influences behavior. Finally, we will consider a biological basis for higher order function (e.g. decision-making, learning, and memory), as well as psychological disorders such as schizophrenia and drug addiction. This course will be organized around instructor led discussions of the processes involved in each topic, followed by group presentations of original research articles that demonstrate and expand upon the topics we discuss, providing students with experience reading and evaluating primary literature in the field, while ensuring a sufficient breadth of content to serve as a foundation for deeper exploration into the field.
Brain, Cognitive, and Developmental Brown Bag
This seminar will serve as a place to discuss current research occurring within the department (and specifically within the BCD area), current scientific trends and methodologies in our fields, and professional development skills and strategies.
Broadening Undergraduate Research Participation in Behavioral Neuroscience
The BURP-BN program is a year-long Structured Research Experience (SRE) in behavioral neuroscience; this is an exciting research field which is rapidly increasing in popularity. The program aims to meet the tremendous demand for undergraduate research opportunities in behavioral neuroscience that cannot be met by the limited number of positions available in Miami faculty research laboratories. Students will benefit from rich and multifaceted interactions with researchers and faculty mentors. The program also provides a venue for peer collaboration and advanced academic inquiry among students.
The Prefrontal Cortex
The prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been implicated in a wide array of functions, from emotional regulation to executive action, subjective value estimation, and even action planning. Given its wide array of cognitive roles, it naturally has a very complex structure, with multiple subregions contributing distinct and overlapping elements to our behavior and cognition. The emphasis of this seminar is on its role in decision-making and executive control, which are some of its most studied functions. The course will be divided into a number of blocks, each focused on a different part of the PFC, covering its anatomy (afferents/efferents, local structure, etc), and discussing both review papers and original research on its role in the previously-mentioned domains. This seminar will integrate findings from both human and animal research to broaden our perspectives on each subregion, as well as our methodological and theoretical backgrounds.
Principles of Fermentation
Through a combination of lectures from faculty and experts in the fermentation industry, hands-on laboratory experiences, and site visits, students will develop an understanding of the importance of fermentation in the food, beverage, and drug industry. Students will have the opportunity to learn how microbiology, biology, chemistry/biochemistry and engineering are interrelated in the fermentation industry. Students will have a basic understanding of biological processes involved in fermentation, the theory and design principles behind the equipment and facilities used in different fermentation/distillation processes, analysis and preservation of yeast strains and quality control of fermentation products. It is expected that students who successfully complete this course will be well-positioned to enter the fermentation industry and make relevant contributions to the different aspects and steps involved in this complex process that provides critical products for human consumption.