This is the programme of lectures for Psychobiology II in 2007

The programme for 2006, which contained links to shortened intranet versions of the course handouts for 2006, remained available in 2007.

Links to the intranet versions of the 2007 handouts were added from time to time during the Spring and Summer Terms. A list of suggested topics for practice essays was handed out on March 15th.

The main text books and other source books were given in the Summer's reading list.

There is a version of the course programme for recent browsers which has an index of the weeks of the course along the bottom.

The course review took place on May 17.


See below for further intranet information.

Course PSYC044U (2nd Yr) Psychobiology II

Jan 25
Innate and acquired mechanisms of cognition: empiricist theories (associative learning theory, connectionism) versus nativist (ethology, sociobiology) theories.
Feb 1
Neonatal instinctive behaviours and early learning in development: imprinting, maternal deprivation in non-human primates.
Feb 8
General learning processes: Habituation and Pavlovian (classical) conditioning.
Feb 15
Reading week (No lectures)
Feb 22
Levels of representation in Pavlovian conditioning; Pavlovian like processes in human subjects.
March 1
Instrumental conditioning (operant or goal directed learning). Biological contraints on learning; comparisons of classical and instrumental conditioning.
March 8
Motivating effects of aversive stimuli: conditioned anxiety in animal avoidance learning and human neuroses.
March 15
Perceptual processes: generalization and attention in discrimination learning, pattern recognition and categorization.
March 22
Processes of animal memory: experimental analyses and anatomical and ecological theories.

There is an Easter handout for the summer term lectures / An essay list for 2007 was handed out on March 15th

April 26
Higher cognitive processes in non-human primates and other species: attempts at "language" training.
May 3
Chimpanzee cognition: spatial and social knowledge and reasoning.
May 10
Comparisons between experimental analyses of learning and connectionist (neural network) simulations.
May 17
1st lecture : Further comparisons between human, animal and machine learning (e.g. Tomasello et al., 1993). 2nd lecture: Course Review.

Further comments on the intranet information

Please note that the intranet material for PSYC044U is intended as a supplement to the conventional lecture course.

It is NOT designed as a distance-learning substitute for the lecture course, and consulting the intranet material is not necessary for students who attend the lectures and collect the normal paper handouts.

The online versions of the first two or three pages of the paper handouts will in due course be available via clicking on the dates of the lectures, but for other parts of the handouts you will need to click on a number in the ‘WEEK’ column.

The recommended reading is mainly from textbooks and it is rarely necessary for students to consult original journal articles in great detail. However students who wish to look at journals can in some cases do so via internet access. Often in thse cases you need to have a supplementary program, Adobe Reader, in order to read 'pdf' files. More information about this here.

A paper copy of the 2006-2007 course handbook was handed out in week 1. If you wish to print it out a pdf version is also available. The course aims and objectives are on page 3.

There is a version of the course programme for recent browsers which has an index of the weeks of the course along the bottom.

This similar version removes Netscape 4.x toolbars and status bar for more screen space (with InterNet Explorer and Netscape 7.x F11 toggles Fullscreen)

This intranet material is tested (though not rigorously) with Netscape 7.x, and occasional checks with Internet Explorer 5 and Firefox 1.5 suggest that these browsers are also useable. (All tests with Windows PC's, not Macs). The material tended to be rather unreliable when viewed with Netscape 6. If you are seeing strange characters, e.g. if you see two question marks on either side of “here”, try changing the character settings in your browser. E.g. in Netscape 4.x, select 'View' and then "Character set" and select "Western (ISO-8859-1)". Or if in Netscape 7.x or Firefox select 'View' then "Character Encoding", then select "Western (ISO-8859-1)". Or in Internet Explorer select "View" then "Encoding" and choose something beginning "Western European".

S.F. Walker
February 2007

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