Brain and Behaviour II

PSYC 370/3.0

The relationship between brain and behaviour. The first part of the course examines topics relevant to brain plasticity, including neurodevelopment, brain damage and learning and memory; followed by a section on the biopsychology of motivation that covers the neural mechanisms of eating, sexual behaviour and sleep. The final section deals with disorders of cognition and emotion, including drug addiction, stress and psychiatric disorders.


Psychology 370 is a course designed to continue your exploration of the field of Biopsychology. It primarily focuses on the underlying neural mechanisms of some of the most interesting and complex human behaviours. From how the brain develops, to our basic motivations, to how catastrophically the brain can fail us, this course delves into many different aspects of brain and behaviour.

Learning Outcomes

  • Build upon the key principles of biopsychology presented in PSYC 271, with a focus on higher cognitive processing
  • Gain an understanding of the complexity of brain and behaviour interactions and how both nature and nurture play important roles
  • Learn to critically evaluate new research in the field of biopsychology


Online Discussion 1




Online Discussion 2


Final Exam (July 30, July 31, or August 1)



There will be a take-home written midterm which will consist of short-answer questions on Units 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. It will be posted online (date TBA) and must be submitted within 72 hours.
Final ExamThe 3-hour final exam will be written during the Exam Period (July 30, July 31, or August 1).  It will consist of 100 Multiple Choice Questions, covering the entire course and is worth 50% of the final grade. Please Note: You must PASS the final exam in order to pass the course.

Final Examination

Students must write their exam on the day and time scheduled by the University. The start time may vary slightly depending on the off-campus exam centre. Do not schedule vacations, appointments, etc., during the exam period.


Below is a general time guideline (1 week or 1½ weeks), but obviously some modules may take you less time to work through and other modules may take you more time.



Readings from Pinel’s Biopsychology

Unit 1

(1 week)

Development of the Nervous System


Ch. 9

Unit 2

(1 ½ weeks)

Brain Damage and Neuroplasticity

Ch. 10

Unit 3

(1 ½  weeks)

Learning, Memory and Amnesia

Ch. 11

Unit 4

(1 week)

Hunger, Eating and Health

Ch. 12

Unit 5

(1 week)

Hormones and Sex

Ch. 13

Unit 6

(1 week)

Sleep, Dreaming and Circadian Rhythms

Ch. 14

Unit 7

(1 ½ weeks)

Drug Addiction and the Brain’s Reward Circuits

Ch. 15

Unit 8

(1 ½ weeks)

Biopsychology of Emotion, Stress and Health

Ch. 17

Unit 9

(1 ½ weeks)

Biopsychology of Psychiatric Disorders

Ch. 18


I received a Bachelor of Science with Honours from Queen’s University and earned a doctoral degree in Psychology from the University of Alberta. I was then a Research Fellow at Dartmouth College. I have been lucky enough to work in various areas within biopsychology including neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience. My main interest lies in lateralization issues in attention and I have used case studies, traditional cognitive psychology experiments and fMRI research to investigate these processes. I have taught courses in Intro Psychology, Brain and Behaviour II, Neuropsychology and Perception in the past and am looking forward to teaching this course again!

Monica Valsangkar-Smyth

Time Commitment

To complete the readings, assignments, and course activities, students can expect to spend, on average, about 12 - 18 hours per week on the course.

Course Resources


SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.


Moodle is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into Moodle to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the Moodle site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a good-quality computer (Windows XP/Vista/7, Pentium III, or Mac OS X 10.5, G4 or G5 processor, 256 MB RAM) with a high-speed internet connection, soundcard, speakers, and microphone, and up-to-date versions of free software (Explorer/Firefox, Java, Flash, Adobe Reader). See also Preparing For Your Course.


The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s are 1 April (for May summer term), 1 June (for July summer term), 1 August (for fall term), and 1 December (for winter term). All documents must be received by the 15th of the month following the deadline. You can register for a course up to one week after the start of the course. See also Dates and Deadlines.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for 2014-15 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Canadian students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $605.31; for a 6.0-unit course, $1210.62. See also Tuition and Payment.

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.