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, The Potential Role of Stress as a Mechanism in the Production of Autism Spectrum Disorder Behaviors in the BTBR T+tt/J Mouse, Effects of Ephedrine During Loaded and Unloaded Wheel running on Morphology, Muscle Fiber Type Conversion and Bone Density in Male C57/BL6 Mice, Behavioral Analysis of Mus musculus Following Prenatal Exposure to a Vaniolloid, Kinistetic Cues May Facilitate Mouse Learning in the Radial Arm Maze, Fluoxetine-Induced Hyperphagia in Female Mice, and A Diallel Analysis of the Aversive Potency of Aphpa-Male (Mus musculus) Urine on Several Inbred Strains of Mice.

 

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.