Psychology 2220B 001 FW23

Introduction to Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience

If there is a discrepancy between the outline posted below and the outline posted on the OWL course website, the latter shall prevail.



LONDON               CANADA 

Department of Psychology 

Summer 2023 


Psychology 2220B    Section 001 

Introduction to Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience 





An introduction to the structure and function of the nervous system in relation to behaviour in humans (cognitive neuroscience) and other animals (behavioral neuroscience). Topics covered include: brain anatomy, neuronal function, drugs & addiction, research methods, sensory perception & motor actions, learning & memory, cognition, and neurological & psychiatric disorders.  


Antirequisite(s): Neuroscience 2000, Psychology 2221A/B. Extra Information: 3 lecture hours. A background in biology is strongly recommended. 


Antirequisites are courses that overlap sufficiently in content that only one can be taken for credit. If you take a course that is an antirequisite to a course previously taken, you will lose credit for the earlier course, regardless of the grade achieved in the most recent course. 


Prerequisite: A mark of at least 60% in 1.0 credits of Psychology at the 1000 level. 


3 lecture hours; Course Weight: 0.5 


Unless you have either the prerequisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enrol in it, you may be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites. 




Instructor: Madeleine Brodbeck 

Office and Phone Number: SSC 7440 

Office Hours: TBA 



Teaching Assistant: Garima Gupta 

Office: WIRB 6th floor 

Office Hours: TBA 



Time and Location of Classes: See Student Centre for Timetable

Delivery Method: In-Person 


Students who are in emotional/mental distress should refer to Health and Wellness @Western for a complete list of options about how to obtain help. 


Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also contact Accessible Education at  or 519-661-2147. 


2.1 Online Learning Notice: 
Please note: For courses delivered in an online format, include an online component, or are required to pivot online, students must have a reliable internet connection and computer that are compatible with online learning system requirements. Some courses may also require the use of a remote proctoring platform to ensure assessments are taken fairly in accordance with Western’s policy on Scholastic Discipline for Undergraduate Students and Scholastic Discipline for Graduate Students. Please refer to the course syllabus for further information. 



Watson, NV & Breedlove, SM (2021). The Mind’s Machine: Foundations of Brain and Behaviour. 4th Edition. Oxford University Press.  


UWO Bookstore: 




This course begins with an introduction to behavioural and cognitive neuroscience and its methods, followed by a review of the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system. This includes how the nervous system (particularly the brain) is involved in sensation and perception (vision, hearing, taste, touch and smell). Neural mechanisms associated with higher order cognitive functions, such as language (and its lateralization) and memory will also be discussed. Student should have a working understanding of the physiological processes underlying basic brain functions (i.e. sensation, movement, psychiatric disease, and sleep), by the end of the course.     

Learning Outcome  

Learning Activity  


Depth and Breadth of Knowledge.  

  • Describe the basic principles of neurophysiology, brain structure, and function. 
  • Identify components of the central and peripheral nervous systems. 
  • Summarize the evolutionary history of the brain and its impact on behavior. 
  • Explain the neural mechanisms underlying various cognitive and behavioral processes. 






Tests and Exams 

Knowledge of Methodologies.  

  • Recognize and compare experimental approaches used in neuroscience research. 
  • Identify challenges in neuroscience research and describe methods to address them. 
  • Interpret evidence and techniques used to determine how the central and peripheral nervous system function. 






Tests and Exams 

Application of Knowledge.  

  • Apply knowledge to identify conserved aspects of cognition across different species. 
  • Discuss and generate questions about the neural basis of behavior and cognitive functions. 
  • Fact-check and find evidence for information related to neuroscience concepts. 





Asking questions and participating in discussions 



Tests and Exams 




The evaluation and testing formats for this course were created to assess the learning objectives as listed in section 4.0 and are considered necessary for meeting these learning objectives. 


Test 1 25%  

Test 2 25% 

Online Quizzes (Best 8 of 10) 10%  

Final Exam 40%  


Tests & Final Exam 

Test 1 will assess all lecture and textbook content from weeks 1- 3 (5 core topics). Test 2 will assess all lecture and textbook content from weeks 5-9 (5 core topics). The final exam will assess lecture and textbook content from weeks 10-13. While the final exam is not cumulative, some foundational concepts covered earlier in the course will carry over to the final. Tests and final exam will follow a similar format including multiple choice, and brief fill in the blank questions. 



Weekly quizzes are meant as a knowledge check, to ensure that students keep up with the class material regularly. Quizzes are asynchronous on OWL and will be in multiple-choice format. Each quiz will consist of around 5 questions. You will be allowed 45 minutes to complete them, although they are designed to be completed in under 10 minutes. Only the best 8 of 10 quizzes will be included in your final grade (i.e. each included quiz is worth 1.25%).  




Due dates for all quizzes are provided on the course syllabus. You will receive a zero for any incomplete quiz. There will be no make-up quizzes as each quiz is only worth 1.25% of the final grade in the course. You may miss up to 2 without penalty (best 8 of 10 quiz scores will be included in the final grade). If you require a longer-term accommodation for a health or wellness concern lasting more than a week, please seek official accommodation by submitting your documentation to the academic counselling office in your home faculty. In these cases, the final quiz grade will be reweighted.  


Students requiring a make-up exam/test will receive a different exam from the original. These make-up exams cover a similar breadth and depth of the assigned material. Make-up exams will be provided only to students with official accommodations from their academic counsellor. Make-up exams will be scheduled at a time following the original exam date. 


The expectation for course grades within the Psychology Department is that they will be distributed around the following averages: 


70% 1000-level to 2099-level courses 

72% 2100-2999-level courses 

75% 3000-level courses 

80% 4000-level courses 


The Psychology Department follows Western’s grading guidelines, which are as follows (see: 


A+ 90-100 One could scarcely expect better from a student at this level 

A 80-89 Superior work that is clearly above average 

B 70-79 Good work, meeting all requirements, and eminently satisfactory 

C 60-69 Competent work, meeting requirements 

D 50-59 Fair work, minimally acceptable 

F below 50 Fail 


Note that in the event that course grades are significantly higher or lower than these averages, instructors may be required to make adjustments to course grades. Such adjustment might include the normalization of one or more course components and/or the re-weighting of various course components. 


Policy on Grade Rounding: Please note that although course grades within the Psychology Department are rounded to the nearest whole number, no further grade rounding will be done. No additional assignments will be offered to enhance a final grade; nor will requests to change a grade because it is needed for a future program be considered. To maximize your grade, do your best on each and every assessment within the course. 




Weekly Quizzes: Each quiz will be posted Tuesday following lecture, and due the following Friday by 11:55 PM. There is no quiz during test week or reading week.  


Test 1: January 30th in class, 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM 


Test 2: March 12th in class, 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM 


Final Exam: Scheduled during final exam period (April 11th – 30th).  







Assigned Readings 


(due on Fridays)  


January 9th  

General Course Introduction 

Structure & Function 

Textbook Ch. 1 

Quiz 1 


January 16th  


The Chemistry of Behaviour 

Textbook Ch. 2 

Textbook Ch. 3 

Quiz 2 


January 23rd  

Evolution of the Brain and Behaviour 


Assigned reading (on OWL) 

Textbook Ch. 4 

Quiz 3 


January 30th  





February 6th  

Sensorimotor system 

Hearing, balance, taste and smell 

Textbook Ch. 5 

Textbook Ch. 6 

Quiz 4 


February 13th  


Textbook Ch. 7 

Quiz 5 


February 20th 

Reading week -- no class 




February 27th 

Hormones and Sex 

Textbook Ch. 8 

Quiz 6 


March 5th  


Textbook Ch. 9 

Quiz 7 


March 12th  





March 19st  

Biological rhythms and sleep 

Emotions, aggression, and stress 

Textbook Ch. 10 

Textbook Ch. 11 

Quiz 8 


March 26th  


Memory and Learning 

Textbook Ch. 12 

Textbook Ch. 13 

Quiz 9 


April 2nd  


Language and Lateralization 

Textbook Ch. 14 

Textbook Ch. 15 

Quiz 10 




We acknowledge that Western University is located on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak and Attawandaron peoples, on lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. 


With this, we respect the longstanding relationships that Indigenous Nations have to this land, as they are the original caretakers. We acknowledge historical and ongoing injustices that Indigenous Peoples (e.g. First Nations, Métis and Inuit) endure in Canada, and we accept responsibility as a public institution to contribute toward revealing and correcting miseducation, as well as renewing respectful relationships with Indigenous communities through our teaching, research and community service. 





Students are responsible for understanding the nature and avoiding the occurrence of plagiarism and other scholastic offences. Plagiarism and cheating are considered very serious offences because they undermine the integrity of research and education. Actions constituting a scholastic offence are described at the following link: 


As of Sept. 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology will take the following steps to detect scholastic offences. All multiple-choice tests and exams will be checked for similarities in the pattern of responses using reliable software, and records will be made of student seating locations in all tests and exams. All written assignments will be submitted to TurnItIn, a service designed to detect and deter plagiarism by comparing written material to over 5 billion pages of content located on the Internet or in TurnItIn’s databases. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between Western and ( 


Computer-marked multiple-choice tests and/or exams will be subject to submission for similarity review by software that will check for unusual coincidences in answer patterns that may indicate cheating. 


In classes that involve the use of a personal response system (PRS), data collected using the PRS will only be used in a manner consistent to that described in this outline. It is the instructor’s responsibility to make every effort to ensure that data remain confidential. However, students should be aware that as with all forms of electronic communication, privacy is not guaranteed. Your PRS login credentials are for your sole use only. Students attempting to use another student’s credentials to submit data through the PRS may be subject to academic misconduct proceedings.  


Possible penalties for a scholastic offence include failure of the assignment/exam, failure of the course, suspension from the University, and expulsion from the University. 



Tests and examinations for online courses will be conducted using a remote proctoring service. By taking this course, you are consenting to the use of this software and acknowledge that you will be required to provide personal information (including some biometric data) and the session will be recorded.  Completion of this course will require you to have a reliable internet connection and a device that meets the technical requirements for this service. More information about this remote proctoring service, including technical requirements, is available on Western’s Remote Proctoring website at: 

In the event that in-person exams are unexpectedly canceled, you may only be given notice of the use of a proctoring service a short time in advance. 




Western’s policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness can be found at: 


If you experience an extenuating circumstance (e.g., illness, injury) sufficiently significant to temporarily make you unable to meet academic requirements, you may request accommodation through the following routes:  

  1. For medical absences, submitting a Student Medical Certificate (SMC) signed by a licensed medical or mental health practitioner in order to be eligible for Academic Consideration;  
  1. For non-medical absences, submitting appropriate documentation (e.g., obituary, police report, accident report, court order, etc.) to Academic Counselling in their Faculty of registration in order to be eligible for academic consideration. Students are encouraged to contact their Academic Counselling unit to clarify what documentation is appropriate. 


Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain accommodation. 


Students seeking academic consideration: 

  • are advised to consider carefully the implications of postponing tests or midterm exams or delaying handing in work;   
  • must communicate with their instructors no later than 24 hours after the end of the period covered SMC, or immediately upon their return following a documented absence 


Students seeking accommodation for religious purposes are advised to contact Academic Counselling at least three weeks prior to the religious event and as soon as possible after the start of the term. 




In the event of a COVID-19 resurgence or any other event that necessitates the course delivery moving away from face-to-face interaction, all remaining course content will be delivered entirely online, either synchronously (i.e., at the times indicated in the timetable) or asynchronously (e.g., posted on OWL for students to view at their convenience). The grading scheme will not change. Any remaining assessments will also be conducted online, as determined by the course instructor. 




In courses involving online interactions, the Psychology Department expects students to honour the following rules of etiquette: 

  • please “arrive” to class on time 
  • please use your computer and/or laptop if possible (as opposed to a cell phone or tablet) 
  • please ensure that you are in a private location to protect the confidentiality of discussions in the event that a class discussion deals with sensitive or personal material 
  • to minimize background noise, kindly mute your microphone for the entire class until you are invited to speak, unless directed otherwise 
  • In classes larger than 30 participants please turn off your video camera for the entire class unless you are invited to speak 
  • In classes of 30 students or fewer, where video chat procedures are being used, please be prepared to turn your video camera off at the instructor’s request if the internet connection becomes unstable 
  • Unless invited by your instructor, do not share your screen in the meeting 


The course instructor will act as moderator for the class and will deal with any questions from participants. To participate please consider the following: 

  • If you wish to speak, use the “raise hand” function and wait for the instructor to acknowledge you before beginning your comment or question. 
  • Please remember to unmute your microphone and turn on your video camera before speaking. 
  • Self-identify when speaking. 
  • Please remember to mute your mic and turn off your video camera after speaking (unless directed otherwise). 


General considerations of “netiquette”: 

  • Keep in mind the different cultural and linguistic backgrounds of the students in the course. 
  • Be courteous toward the instructor, your colleagues, and authors whose work you are discussing. 
  • Be respectful of the diversity of viewpoints that you will encounter in the class and in your readings. The exchange of diverse ideas and opinions is part of the scholarly environment. “Flaming” is never appropriate. 
  • Be professional and scholarly in all online postings. Use proper grammar and spelling. Cite the ideas of others appropriately. 


Note that disruptive behaviour of any type during online classes, including inappropriate use of the chat function, is unacceptable. Students found guilty of Zoom-bombing a class or of other serious online offenses may be subject to disciplinary measures under the Code of Student Conduct. 




Office of the Registrar:   


Student Development Services:  


Psychology Undergraduate Program: 


If you wish to appeal a grade, please read the policy documentation at: 

Please first contact the course instructor. If your issue is not resolved, you may make your appeal to the Undergraduate Chair in Psychology ( 


Copyright Statement: Lectures and course materials, including power point presentations, outlines, videos and similar materials, are protected by copyright. You may take notes and make copies of course materials for your own educational use. You may not record lectures, reproduce (or allow others to reproduce), post or distribute any course materials publicly and/or for commercial purposes without the instructor’s written consent. 


Policy on the Recording of Synchronous Sessions: Some or all of the remote learning sessions for this course (if scheduled) may be recorded. The data captured during these recordings may include your image, voice recordings, chat logs and personal identifiers (name displayed on the screen). The recordings will be used for educational purposes related to this course, including evaluations. The recordings may be disclosed to other individuals participating in the course for their private or group study purposes. Please contact the instructor if you have any concerns related to session recordings. Participants in this course are not permitted to privately record the sessions, except where recording is an approved accommodation, or the student has the prior written permission of the instructor.