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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

William J Moody
BIOL 488
Seattle Campus

Senior Seminar in Physiology

Supervised readings and group discussion. Prerequisite: BIOL 350.

Class description

This course will cover the biology of human consciousness. We will begin with basic neurobiology, studying how neurons and the synaptic connections among them work at a physiological level to process information. We will then study basic mammalian neuroanatomy, so the class has a clear idea of the pathways of information flow in the nervous system. At the end of this section, we will have a midterm exam covering this material. Then (approximately the second half of the course), we will cover a series of studies that attempt to pinpoint the exact location in the brain of various aspects of consciousness, such as the perception of movement or the recognition of human faces. The course will end with student presentations of original scientific papers on this topic.

Student learning goals

Understand the physiological basis of electrical and chemical signaling in the nervous system.

Be familiar with the basic functional anatomy of the mammalian brain and spinal cord.

Understand the difference between the encoding of sensory information and the perception of the sensory world.

General method of instruction

Lecture, discussion, student presentations.

Recommended preparation

Introductory biology required. Biol. 350 recommended. Neurobiology majors will find the first half of the course redundant with NBio 301 to a large extent.

Class assignments and grading

Midterm exam. Student preparation of presentations based on scientific papers.

Midterm, presentation, in-class participation.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by William J Moody
Date: 02/13/2013