Courses | Lambert Behavioral Neuroscience Laboratory
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Randolph-Macon College

Courses (Past and Present)

kelly lambert teaching

General Psychology:

This course provides an introduction to psychological theory, methodology, and research findings. Additional topics include: biological psychology, sensation and perception, motivation, learning, cognition, language, development, social psychology, personality, and psychopathology. This course is required for all courses in the department above the 100 level.

Clinical Neuroscience:

This course is an introduction to the neurobiology of mental disorders such as depression and schizophrenia. Additional topics include: psychoneuroimmunology, stress and coping, nervous system repair/recovery, and the therapeutic potential for self-directed neuroplasticity. Class consists of lectures, student presentations, videos, and round table discussion of readings.

kelly lambert in lab with students
Just another summer day doing immunocytochemistry

Behavioral Neuroscience:

A course designed to promote understanding of the neurobiological foundations of behavior. The biological components of certain aspects of behavior (e.g., sensation, perception, motivation, learning, emotion, consciousness, disorders of mood and activity) will be discussed. Lectures and demonstrations will help students understand the methods and theories that physiological psychologists employ in their efforts to integrate biological and psychological aspects of behavior.

Psycholobiology Research Applications and Theoretical Systems

Once students have gained fundamental information in either Clinical Neuroscience or Behavioral Neuroscience, they will continue with advanced theoretical and empirical study by gaining research experience in the area of neuroscience.  Students will consult the scientific literature and subsequently write an informed orginal research proposal.  After receiving feedback from class discussions and assignments, students will conduct the proposed research project.  Following data collection and analysis, reports will be written and presented to the class. 

Comparative Animal Behavior

This course investigates the general concepts and principles of animal behavior. Topics such as social behavior, reproduction, communication, and learning will be discussed. Emphasis will be placed on the development, mechanisms, evolutionary history and function of each behavior as it is studied. Students will learn observational and descriptive techniques used in animal behavior research. Some classes will travel to Monkey Jungle in Miami FL or Curu Wildlife Reserve in Costa Rica to conduct behavioral observations of various primate species.

students in costa rica

Best classroom ever: Tracking capuchins in Costa Rica

Psychobiology of Stress (First year experience):

Although the term “stress” was only introduced to our culture a mere half century ago, most would agree that it has always been a part of our existence. Currently stress seems to be a central component of our lives and our psychological and physical well-being. As we explore this concept, the following topics will be considered: The evolution of the complex stress response in mammals; the toxicity of the chronic stress response to our health; effective ways to cope with and manage the stress in our lives; laboratory and field scientific techniques used to contribute to the scientific stress literature. Supplemental texts, videos, writing exercise (i.e., writing stressographies) will be used to augment lectures and discussions in the classroom.

Neurobiology of Humor (First year experience)

An interdisciplinary study of humor and its cultural, social, psychological, and neurobiological dimensions. In this course we will examine the following topics: definitions of humor; events that trigger laughter; cultural forms of comedy; representation of humor in literature, print media, film, and other forms of entertainment; psychological, emotional, and physiological components of humor; role of humor in health and healing; evolution of humor; and an exploration of humor/ laughter in non-human animals.

Systems and Contemporary Theories in Psychology:

A required capstone course for senior psychology majors designed to encourage integration of theories, events, and people in the development of contemporary psychological theory and practice. Seminar format that requires active student participation and student projects.

Research Methods:

This is an intensive course designed to help the student develop a firm foundation in research methods and statistical analysis. It provides a broad conceptual framework and a set of skills that together support critical thinking in upper-level psychology courses. The course covers a range of methodological approaches (e.g., experimentation, systematic observation, and survey) and statistical procedures (e.g., chi square, correlation, t-tests, and analysis of variance) common in psychology. It includes substantial laboratory, computer, and writing components. This course should be taken as the second course in the department for all students planning to major in psychology.

Psychology of Learning:

An examination of the basic principles of conditioning and learning, their educational and therapeutic applications, and their philosophical implications. Topics to be covered include habitation, classical conditioning, operant conditioning, stimulus control, cognitive learning, behavioral modification, biological constraints on learning, and the philosophy of radical behaviorism.

Enterprisers and Opportunists:  Lessons from resilient mammals, business moguls and other geniuses. 

This FYC examines factors related to the development of adaptive/successful strategies in areas as diverse as evolution, academics, personal fulfillment, leadership and marketing. This semester, we will focus on psychological and neuroscientific research as we explore the biological relevance of adaptive responses (e.g., successful intelligence, resilience and skill mastery) in a few of nature’s most opportunistic mammals such as rats, raccoons, and humans. Now that you have explored human enterprise (e.g., innovation, creative consumer problem solving, right-mindedness and market opportunity analysis) with Dr. Myers, the topics covered in this class should complement this your understanding of factors contributing to opportunistic and entrepreneurial endeavors.  In both courses, content will be derived from lectures, guest speakers, videos, books, articles, and individual/group projects.