Office of the Registrar
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03755-3529
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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2017-18


PSYC 179 Seminar in Special Topics

Understanding the Neural Code in 17F, Haxby

This course will review current computational methods for understanding how information is coded in neural activity and how to decode patterns of neural activity to reveal the information that is being represented and processed. The course will cover topics such as multivariate pattern classification, representational similarity analysis, forward encoding models, and using hyperalignment to build common models of representational and connectivity spaces. The course will concentrate on applications to human functional neuroimaging data, but application to other methods of measuring neural activity in humans and animals will also be covered.

Topics in Learning and Behavior in 18W, Todd

This course will provide students with a theoretical understanding of learning and behavior, primarily as instantiated in Pavlovian and Instrumental conditioning procedures. We will review historically important experiments that shaped and changed the field, as well as several prominent theories of conditioning. One goal of this course if for students to come into contact with experiments designed to explain behavior at the psychological  level. In doing so, students should gain an appreciation for the complexity of behavior, and the experimental methods necessary to isolate mechanisms of behavior. In turn, this framework is expected to facilitate student’s ability to isolate neural mechanisms of behavior; a sophisticated theoretical understanding of behavior is the required foundation for a sophisticated understanding of the neural mechanisms of behavior. Topics include: the “content” of Pavlovian conditioning, excitatory and inhibitory conditioning, information value and surprise, Rescorla-Wagner model, Pearce-Hall model, prediction error (common and individual error terms), elemental vs. configural learning, extinction, occasion-setting, the “content” of instrumental conditioning, actions and habits.

Instructor

Haxby, Todd

Offered

17F, 18W: Arrange