Columbia PSYC W3470 - Syllabus (6 pages)

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Syllabus



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Syllabus

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Lecture Notes


Pages:
6
School:
Columbia University
Course:
Psyc W3470 - Brain Evolution: Becoming Human

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1 Psychology W3470 Brain Evolution Becoming Human Spring 2011 James P Curley jc3181 columbia edu I Bulletin description II A full description of the content of the course III The rationale for giving the course IV The reading list and weekly syllabus V Course requirements VI Curriculum vitae I Bulletin description PSYC W3470 Brain Evolution Becoming Human seminar 4 pts J Curley W 12 10 2 00 PM 200C Schermerhorn Hall Prerequisite At least two other psychology courses and the instructor s permission Investigation of the uniqueness of the human brain and human behavior from an evolutionary perspective approached from many levels of inquiry from mechanistic changes to the human genome and neurobiology to evolutionary shifts in emotional and cognitive capacities to the evolution of higher order processes such as language beliefs morals and consciousness The course will draw upon research from many disciplines including animal behavior biological anthropology psychology neuroscience genetics and social anthropology II A full description of the content of the course One of the fundamental questions throughout scientific history has been What makes the human species unique In particular for psychologists the critical question is Which aspects of our brain and behavior are those that define us as human If we can identify such human traits is it then possible to trace their evolutionary history in the human lineage and to determine when they evolved for what reasons and under which selective pressures Furthermore can we trace those changes that have occurred in our genomes and neurobiology that have led to these behavioral adaptations Throughout this course we shall examine the evolution of the human brain and behavior bringing together evidence from a variety of disciplines including animal behavior psychology neuroscience genetics and biological anthropology to try and delineate what it is about our brains that makes us uniquely human This course will address the evolution



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