Brain and Behaviour I - Online psychology courses | Arts and Science ONLINE

Brain & Behaviour I

PSYC 271/3.0

An introduction to behavioural neuroscience. The course primarily focuses on the basics of neuronal operation, functional neuroanatomy, neuropharmacology, and behavioural neuroscience methods. This will be followed by an examination of input (sensory) and output (motor) systems of the brain. Finally, topics relevant to lateralization of function and language will be covered.

Please note: This course is typically offered in the summer term


Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

  1. Summarize the foundations of biopsychology including evolution, neuroanatomy, and neuropharmacology.
  2. Describe the process of neural communication.
  3. Explain the neural mechanisms of learning and memory.
  4. Outline Primary research methods in biopsychology.
  5. Recall and recognize sensory processing in visual, auditory, olfactory, taste, and somatosensory systems. Relate motor system function to sensory processing in humans


PSYC 271 is a course designed to introduce you to the field of Behavioural Neuroscience. This course initially focuses on the basics of how neurons function, neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, behavioural neuroscience methods, genetics and evolution. This will be followed by an examination of the sensory and motor systems and finally, topics relevant to lateralization of function will be covered.

Please note that this course requires a considerable amount of memorization of scientific definitions and concepts.  If it has been some time since taking PSYC 100, it would be beneficial to go over the biopsychology section of your introductory psychology textbook, especially focusing on the neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, before the course begins.

Biopsychology is very multidisciplinary and our body of knowledge comes from various fields of study, including physiological psychology, neuropsychology, neurology and neuroimmunology. By combining research ideas from all of these disciplines, a more complete picture of the brain is beginning to emerge. I say beginning because the brain is truly a challenge for scientists to understand, as its ability to evolve and adapt is so great. I believe understanding the brain and its role in behaviour is the ultimate challenge for science!


Winter 2023
Course Dates: 
Jan. 9 - Apr. 10, 2023
Exam Dates: 
Apr. 14 - 27, 2023


7.5% - Essay Part 1
15% - Essay Part 2
5% - Discussion Forum 1
5% - Discussion Forum 2
17.5% (3.5% each) - Bi-weekly Quizzes (best 5 of 6)
50% - Proctored Final Exam

Students must pass the final exam in order to pass the course.

**Evaluation Subject to Change**

Live Sessions

This course has optional live sessions (e.g. webinars, synchronous activities).


When you registered for the course, you indicated the exam centre location

  • Students who have on-campus courses (or course sections) will write their final exams in-person and on-campus. These final exams will be administered through the central Exams Office
  • Students who have courses (or course sections) that are remote or online, but who have other on-campus courses (or course sections) in their timetable, will write all of their final exams in-person and on-campus. These final exams will be administered through the central Exams Office
  • Students who have only remote or online courses (or course sections) in their timetable, and who require remote proctoring, will have their exams proctored using Examity.


Once the exam schedule has been finalized the exam date will be posted on your SOLUS account. The exam dates for each Term are listed on the Faculty of Arts and Science webpage under "Important Dates." Student exam schedules for the Fall Term are posted via SOLUS immediately prior to the Thanksgiving holiday; for the Winter Term they are posted on the Friday before Reading Week, and for the Summer Term they are individually noted on the Arts and Science Online syllabi. Students should delay finalizing any travel plans until after the examination schedule has been posted. Exams will not be moved or deferred to accommodate employment, travel/holiday plans or flight reservations.


Dr. Hans Dringenberg (

Time Commitment

A course such as this on campus would have three lecture hours per week. Students can expect to spend, on average, about 9-10 hours per week (120 hours per term) 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.

About OnQ

onQ is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into onQ 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 onQ 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 or BSc requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a high speed internet connection as well as a microphone and speakers to be able to watch videos, hear sounds, and participate in interactive online activities. A webcam is recommended but not necessary.

System Requirements:

Computer Specifications

  • Windows 8.1 or newer
  • OSX 10.13 (High Sierra) or newer
  • Dual Core 2 GHz processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Soundcard
  • USB Headset
  • Webcam

Supported Browsers

  • Chrome (preferred - latest version)
  • Firefox (latest version)
  • Safari is not recommended as it causes several known issues in onQ
  • Edge is not recommended as it causes several known issues in onQ

Internet Connection

  • Wired high speed access: Cable or better
  • Wifi is not recommended


  • Latest version

Media Player

  • Flash (latest version)

Adobe Reader

  • Latest Version


The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Upcoming Application Dates section.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for Summer Term 2018 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Domestic students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $685.90; for a 6.0-unit course, $1371.80 See also Tuition and Fees.

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks, if required, 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.