Fall 2020 Featured Courses

PSYC 5285: Neurobiology of Aging: Changes in Cognitive Processes

Graduate courses act as Honors credit, as long as you earn a grade of B- or higher. 

Instructor: Etan Markus

Recommended for clinical, developmental, and neuroscience graduate students, as well as upper level undergraduates.

Instructor permission required.

Aging is an important topic of research due to its political, economic and social implications, and the fact that we all will (hopefully) personally experience this stage in the lifespan. We will examine aging at the neurobiological, personal, and family levels. Human data will be presented together with animal models of specific age-related deficits. This will be followed by a presentation of the neurobiological changes found during aging. Finally, the relationship between the behavioral and neurobiological findings will be examined. The emphasis will be on the normal aging process, although some age-related pathologies will also be examined.

Topics include:

  • What is aging? Must we age?
  • Evolution and models of biological aging.
  • Changes in the brain: Brain imaging, EEG, neurons, dendrites & synapses
  • Changes in motor ability and perception
  • Age-related changes in complex cognitive & adaptive functioning
  • Animal models of aging
  • Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease
  • Normal vs. pathological aging

Format: Lectures, class discussion and student presentations.

PSYC 5140: Foundations in Neuropsychology

Graduate courses act as Honors credit, as long as you earn a grade of B- or higher. 

Instructors: John Salamone & Deborah Fein

Recommended preparation: Some background in biology and/or neuroscience

An introduction to neuropsychology, including functional neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, neuropharmacology and cognitive/emotional function and dysfunction.

PSYC 3250W: Laboratory in Animal Behavior and Learning

[UConn Storrs]

Instructor: Etan Markus

Prerequisites: (1) ENGL 107, 1010, 1011, or 2011; (2) PSYC 1100; (3) PSYC 2100; (4) PSYC 2200 or 2500 or 3201 or 3552; (5) a good knowledge of statistics

Permission number required. Request a permission number using this form.

Remember how you got to class today? a bad experience? learning to ride a bike? What parts of the brain are involved in these different types of behaviors? How can one examine these questions in the laboratory rat? This hands-on laboratory will provide students with an opportunity to conduct experiments using modern behavioral techniques. The ability of rats to carry out different types of tasks will be related to different brain structures.

This is a serious lab designed for students interested in continuing to graduate or medical school.

  • This is a hands-on lab, most of the time we will only have a brief classroom session. Instead, on about half the weeks students will be training animals for about 1-2 hours/day for 3-4 days a week.
  • On occasion you will have to come in on the weekend to care for your animals.
  • This is also a “W” class, and I’ll be working with you on your writing (& re-writing).


ENGL 3218W-001: Ethnic Literatures of the United States

Instructor: Veronica Makowsky

Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open to juniors or higher, or others with permission of the instructor.

What is an American? How does ethnicity affect one’s sense of identity? How do class, race, sexuality, gender, generation, and location(s) interact with ethnicity to form or challenge identity or to suggest identities contingent upon context? In addition to these broad questions about ethnicity and identity, this course also considers how movement over time and space (within the US, to the US, from the US, and globally) may lead to unstable or fluid senses of identity. We will read a play, short stories, novels, and autobiographies. The texts encompass Native American works (Zitkala-Sa’s American Indian Stories (excerpts) and Louise Erdrich’s The Round House); African American works (Charles Chesnutt’s The Conjure Stories and August Wilson’s Fences); and works concerning immigrant experiences: a collection of short stories by Anzia Yezierska, Tina De Rosa’s Paper Fish, Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, Julie Otsuka’s When the Emperor Was Divine, and Noviolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names. Grades will be based on: 1) active participation in daily discussion which usually includes in-class writing assignments based on the day’s assigned reading; 2) 2 short (2-3 pp.) response papers and their revision; 3) an 8-10-page research paper and its revision.

CA 4, W.

ENGL 2407-003: The Short Story

Instructor: Dwight Codr

Prerequisite: ENGL 1010, 1011, or 2011

This course will entail the study and analysis of fictional writing. We will read 20-30 excellent short stories, but our concern will be with fiction and fictionalization broadly conceived. Students will gain an understanding of the formal properties of fiction and narrative and will cultivate the ability to generate a critical interpretation of a given text. Finally, we will study the way in which the short story as a genre concerns itself with difference or otherness, how the form we know as the short story has, at its core, a particular fascination with the inexplicable, complicated, uncategorizable, and extraordinary.

Class meetings will consist of a combination of lectures, discussions, and small group activities. Written assignments may include textual explications, reading journals, discussion board posts, and/or an argumentative essay of 4-5 pages. There will be a midterm and final exam testing your reading comprehension and your grasp of key concepts in the analysis of literary texts.

CA 1.