Course description

Focuses on networks of brain regions that are organized around the integration of processes related to emotion and motivation. The course first explores brain pathways for processing visual, auditory, body and face movements, and tactile stimuli that comprise the raw material used to judge the emotional significance of external events. Next, brain regions involved in the (1) emotional evaluation of that sensory input, and (2) emotional expression once a significant event is identified are described. Then, brain processes underlying the special nature of human emotional experience (subjective feelings) are explored. All of these basic emotional processes are extended by placing them within widespread brain networks that modulate emotional behavior. There is an emphasis on social contexts and the development of social emotions, including social bonding and social rejection. The manner in which emotional stress influences learning and memory, with implications for PTSD, concludes the course.

Outcome 1: learn which brain networks underlie affective and social processes, e.g., how the amygdala detects emotional threat and activates brain stem mechanisms that create the emotional responses needed to adapt to the threat; or how the medial prefrontal cortex represents the outcome expectancy associated with our plans in responding to other’s intentions


PSYCH 2230 or BIONB 2220

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