Biopsychology

Biopsychology Track 

 

The Biopsychology Track draws on discoveries in fields such as behavior genetics, the neurosciences, physiological psychology, psychopharmacology, and other fields to investigate such complex topics as the structure and function of the brain, or why individuals vary in their behavior. Biopsychology students are given a set of foundation courses which have been carefully selected to provide a basis for the study of more advanced concepts.

Students complete the requirement of the track (15 credits) that can be applied toward University Core Curriculum requirements. The set of requirements includes Physiological Psychology, Neuroscience, Behavior Genetics, and an elective based upon a student’s major and/or area of interest. During their final year, students complete a research project and present their findings to the public.

 

The Track is Ideal For:

  • Majors in Biology, psychology, chemistry, nursing, and anthropology, with a minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Undergraduates who plan on graduate or professional studies in medicine, psychology, nursing, and the neurosciences
  • Students who enjoy small classes and individual attention from faculty members
  • Students who desire practical research experience 

 

Curriculum:

Physiological Psychology (PSY 3530)

This course provides an introduction to the structure and function of the nervous system and explores the biological basis or perception, consciousness, hunger, sexuality, sleep, memory, and reward.

Neuroscience (BIPY 4740)

A study of the brain, specifically the integrated roles of the anatomy, chemistry, histology, and electrical activity of the central nervous system. The Laboratory component of the course focuses on neuroanatomy and the use of techniques to study brain functioning.

Behavior Genetics (BIPY 4750)

An introduction to the concept of gene X environment interaction as a determinant of both animal and human behaviors. The laboratory component focuses on teams of students completing a course-long research project.

Biopsychology Elective

This elective allows the student to broaden his or her basic set of courses in biopsychology by choosing among such topics as: Human Neuropsychology (BIPY 4900/5900), Pharmacology (BIO 4600/5600), Neural Basis of Behavior (BIO 5360), or other approved courses.

Capstone: Independent Study (BIPY 4990)

Individual research carried out under the direction of a faculty member of the Biopsychology Track. Non-Course Element: Presentation of Honors Independent Study.

 

What projects have students completed in the past?

Students in the Biopsychology Track have produced theses with the following titles:

Thesis Title

Student Name

Year

Bilinguals and Monolinguals: An Overview of Cognitive Function

 

Stephanie Bello

 

2014

The Affect of DHA on the Behavior of Mice Exposed to the Viral Mimic Poly I:C in Utero

 

Heather Den Heyer

 

2014

Use of Precursor GABA Cell Transplantation for Treatment of Peripheral Inflammatory Pain

 

Traci-Lin Goddin

 

2014

B.R.A.I.N. Blood Flow Research After Injury

 

Jenna Tosto

 

2014

Find out who you are

 

Derek Voyticki

 

2014

Information Processing, Executive Function, and Memory in Brain Injury: Behavioral, Cognitive, and Physiological Correlates

 

Gabriella Tosto

 

2013

Effect of Altanserin, a 5-HT2a Receptor Antagonist, on the innate antinociceptive response of BTBR T+tf/Jmice

 

Alyx Weaver

 

2013

CD38 Level in the Hypothalamus, Cortex and WBC of BTBR and C57 BL/6J Mice

 

Heidi Rogers

 

2012

Social Behavior in BTBR T+tf/J and C57BL/6J Mouse and the Role of Vasopressin in Mediating this Stress Response

 

Tomiko Rendon

 

2012

Assessing Social Anxiety in the BtBR Mouse Model of Autism: A novel light/dark box test of social anxiety 

 

Daniel B. McKim

 

2011

Variable responses to  Psychostimulants in the Autistic Model BtBR T+TF/J Mouse: Implication of chronic environmental stress

 

Matthew Snyder

 

2011

Effects of Viral Mimic Poly I:C on Development of Autistic-like Symptoms in Stress-Reactive BTBR Mouse

 

Ngoc Nhung T. Nguyen

 

2009

The Legacy of Eugenics

 

Michael Blizzard

 

2007

Mapping of a 5-HT Receptor in the Larval Zebra Fish CNS

 

Mietra Harandi

 

2004

Kinesthetic Cues May Facilitate Mouse Learning in the Radial Arm Maze

 

Rachel Miuccio

 

2002

Fluoxetine-Induced Hyperphagia in Female Mice

 

Christopher Hess

 

1998

A Diallel Analysis of the Aversive Potency of Alpha-Male Mouse (Mus musculus) Urine on Several Inbred Strains of Mice

 

Louis LaRegina

 

1998

How do I enroll?

To enroll in the Biopsychology Honors Track, contact the Director, Dr. Robert Benno, at (973) 720-3440 or at bennor@wpunj.edu. You could also contact Jan Pinkston at (973) 720-3776 or at pinkstonj@wpunj.edu. A completed track application must also be submitted to the Honors College. 

 

About the Track Director :

Dr. Robert Benno is a Professor of Biology, and his area of professional interest is developmental neurobiology, with a focus on the use of mouse models to study autism. He is also a dedicated jazz pianist.