Biological Psychology Laboratory Syllabus
Spring 2012 –CRN 31473


Office / Phone:

Office Hours:


Jess F. Deegan II
Section 30

Bldg. 100, Rm. 110

by appointment only

and the Homepage


Highly Recommended:

Bear, M. F., Connors, B. W., & Paradiso, M. A. (2006). Neuroscience: Exploring the brain. (3rd ed.) Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins.

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

These books can be purchased through the Runner Bookstore or any on-line textbook retailer. In addition, you may also follow the following links to alternative on-line bookstores: or Barnes and

NOTE: Although ordering books on-line may save you money, be aware that you are still responsible for the content if the books arrive late and the instructor does not recommend one seller over another.


  1. The first prerequisite for this class is successful completion of Psyc 300A and Psyc 300B, or an equivalent scientific methodology course.
  2. The second prerequisite for this class is successful completion of Psyc 303 (Biological Psychology) or concurrent enrollment.
  3. This is a university class. Therefore, university work and attitudes are expected.
  4. All writing assignments will:
    1. be TYPED and DOUBLE-SPACED, and will include Xeroxed copies or PDFs of relevant journal articles (use a large envelope); and
    2. be individual work even though group efforts may be used to generate data.

It is Expected that laboratory write-ups will conform to APA Style (6th ed.).

  1. All lab write-ups are due at the START OF LECTURE Monday. That is the time stamp on the e-mail (if this is the modality of submission) must be before the beginning of class. DATES are FIRM! Late work will be subjected to a 10% deduction in points, per day late (starting with 10% @ 11:01 am.). If there is a problem, see me BEFORE THE DUE DATE, NOT AFTER !
  2. PLAGIARISM, CHEATING, or FABRICATION OF DATA will automatically result in an "F" for the course. And excessive sloth in class attendance or participation will result in deductions of points (See Academic Acculturation).
  3. My job is to HELP you with your LABORATORIES and LAB WRITE-UPs . In general, if you do not use my assistance, your grade will probably reflect your lack of contact.






Participation (10.5 %)
Instructors' Ratings
Peer Ratings


Lab Assignments (42.1 %)



Brain Practicum (10.5 %)
Lab Write-ups (brain & visual; 10.5 %)


Paper Presentation (5.3 %)


Literature Review (21.1 %)





CSUB-AV at Division and I in Room 213
Monday--Lecture: 11:00 AM-11:50 AM
Laboratory: 11:50 AM-2:20 PM

Week 1 Monday April 2
Safety and Behavior. You will meet the others in your lab, the locations of rooms and equipment, and find out who the instructor is and his Expectations.
Brain Structure: Lab 1--The Human Brain (25 pts) Brain write-ups due Monday May 7

Week 2 Monday April 9
Brain Structure: Microscopy (25 pts)

Week 3 Monday April 16
Field Trip to "Tehachapi Senior Center" or a Day Care Center for the Elderly. (25 pts)

·         Report due on Observations (APA Style Not-required).

Week 4 Monday April 23
Brain Structure: Lab 2--The Sheep Brain, part 1 (25 pts)

Week 5 Monday April 30
Brain Structure: Lab 2--The Sheep Brain, part 2 (25 pts)

Week 6 Monday May 7
BRAIN PRACTICUM! (50 pts) & Brain write-ups due (25 pts)

Week 7 Monday May 14
Eye Structure Lab 3--The Bovine Eye (25 pts)
Visual write-ups due Monday May 29

Week 8 Monday May 21
NO CLASS today, meet Tuesday May 29

Week 8a Tuesday May 29
Visual Pathways and Neural Processing Lab 4--Electrode preparation (25 pts)

Visual write-ups due (25 pts)

Week 9 Monday June 4
Lab 5--Data Collection:
(25 pts)

Week 10 Monday June 11
OPEN DISCUSSION!! COMMENTS Lab 6--Paper Presentation / Discussion (25 pts)
PAPER due in class (100 pts)



Lab Write-ups: Due at the start of class on the dates noted. Remember that electronic submissions must be time-stamped before the start of class.

The lab write-ups will be succinct in nature (five pages MAX--without figures). This does not mean that you are required to write five pages, five pages is the LIMIT. The write-ups should be grammatically correct, free of spelling errors, and typed double-spaced. (Lab Reports that are not typed and double-spaced will not be read!). There are two basic types of write-ups.
1. The FINAL write-up will require that you to make logical sense of the the literature on a topic you choose, restricted to Rat Visual Systems or Neurological changes due to aging (either disease or normally). More specific guidelines and expectations for the lab will be provided with the lab.
2. These write-ups will require that you investigate a term, which will be of your pseudo-choice, to provide the latest material (two articles) on the subject. The restrictions on this assignment are that the articles selected must be from the most recent year that matches the last digit in the year of your birth. For instance, if you were born in the year 1957 you would look for articles in the year 2007, then 1997, etc.. The idea is that you take the first two articles that appear in a literature search for that year and state what you have learned about the topic from the two articles. SIMPLE SUMMARIES OF ARTICLES ARE NOT APPROPRIATE! The idea is to synthesize the information. Also, remember that you are REQUIRED to include complete Xeroxes of the articles.

Final Paper: is due Monday June 11 by 5:00 PM.

This paper should provide a short review of the literature (six articles required) on the topic of visual systems in the rat or geriatric changes in neurology. Remember, a COMPLETED review paper is expected ON TIME, TYPED and ACCORDING TO APA STYLE. IF IN DOUBT ABOUT THE MEANING OF THIS LATTER STATEMENT BUY THE MANUAL! The paper must make use of the six papers, but more are encouraged (include Xeroxed copies or PDFs of articles used).

The Paper Presentation will be approximately 5 minutes in length. The presentation should be an effort by you to make sense of the literature. Visual aides are strongly recommended and should be professional looking. This means generated on a computer. The idea here is present the information you culled from the literature, providing starting points for a discussion. The discussion will be very informal, much like that you would expect in a seminar class.

Extra Credit:

In addition to the above, Extra Credit will occasionally be made available on the Homepage. This will usually be similar in format to the Homepage assignments from the class. Another possible Extra Credit Assignment will involve the commenting on previous posts from members of the class. These opportunities will be noted on the Homepage when they become available. You should also note that Extra Credit is magical points that remain in the ether until the grades have been assigned. Then they are added to the point total you have accumulated, possible moving your grade to the next level.

Links to the abstracts or articles can be found each week on the Psyc 303 Main Homepage:

PLEASE NOTE: Others in the class will be able to read your responses.