Psychology | Drugs and the Nervous System
P407 | 3398 | Rebec G.


Introduction to the major psychoactive drugs and how they act upon the
brain to influence behavior.  Discussion of the role of drugs as
therapeutic agents for various clinical disorders and as probes to provide
insight into brain function.
This course focuses on the neural mechanisms and processes underlying the
behavioral response to psychoactive drugs.  A basic understanding of
neural function is required.  Some background in chemistry is helpful, but
not essential.  The first portion of the course will cover basic material
in pharmacology, neurophysiology, and synaptic transmission.  The second
portion of the course will focus on specific clinical disorders and their
treatment with various drugs.  In either case, course material will be
based on in-class lectures and assigned readings from either the text or
an outside source.
Grades will be based on the results of three exams and four assigned
papers.  Exams will be based on class materials and reading assignments.
Three of the four papers will cover a topic assigned in class; the final
paper will cover a topic of your choice, approved in advance by the
instructor.
Text: Stahl, Essential Psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific Basis and
Practical Applications, Cambridge University Press, 1996.