PSYC 304 (6 cr): Brain and Behaviour


Course description

The neurobiological bases of behaviour; brain processes involved in perception, motivation, emotion, psychopathology, learning and memory. Open to all Arts and Science majors except those in the B.Sc. Psychology program. Credit will be granted for only one of  PSYC 304 or PSYC 360.


Either (a) PSYC 100 or (b) two of PSYC 101, PSYC 102, PSYC 205. PSYC 207, PSYC 208, PSYC 216, PSYC 217. (Strongly recommended: PSYC 101 and PSYC 216 or 217 or 260)

Student Profile

Ben Pierce, 4th Year Psychology Honours student


Ben likes how the course offers the latest “neuro images” available for students to study from.

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Student or audience description

Psychology 304 is a course designed for students with an interest in understanding the relationship between the brain and behavior. It is a course designed for Psychology Arts majors, as well as for other Arts and Science students not majoring in Psychology. The course is not open to Psychology Science majors.

Ultimately, the course is for anybody with an interest in the brain and behavior. There are many adult learners who may be interested in this course as part of their ongoing education (for example, nurses, teachers, etc.).

Course objectives

This course provides an overview of the relationship between the brain and behaviour. Coverage will span a range of topics including neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, psychopharmacology, neuroendocrinology, vision and hearing, sleep and circadian rhythms, reproductive and ingestive behaviour, and learning and memory in both humans and non-human species. There will also be a focus on human neurological and mental disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and depression.

After completing the course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the field of biopsychology and how it fits with other fields that involve studying of the brain and behavior.
  • Identify the functions of a full range of brain structures and neurotransmitters.
  • Be able to identify the functions of different types of brain cells and explain how neurons send and receive signals.
  • Describe the research methods most commonly used in biopsychology.
  • Understand the impact of a range of neurotransmitters, hormones and psychoactive drugs on the behaviour of humans and other species.
  • Describe the potential outcome of damage to nervous system structures.
  • Be able to explain how the brain is involved in the regulation of our sensory and motor systems.
  • Understand how the brain is involved in a range of behaviours including learning and memory, eating, sex, sleep, aggression and drug use.
  • Describe brain involvement in a range of human neurological and mental disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and depression.

Course readings

Textbook (Required)

  • Pinel, John R. and Steven Barnes. Revel for Biopsychology 10th Edition Access Card. Pearson, 2019. ISBN: 9780134567730

Text Website (Optional)

Textbook order form