BCSC 244: Neuroethology

Cross-listed: NSCI 244
Prerequisites: BCSC 110 or BCSC 240 (NSCI 201)
Offered: Spring

Neuroethology is the study of the neural basis of naturally occurring animal behaviors. The nervous system of any animal functions as a unit which integrates the information from interactions between molecules, cells, and groups of cells, all of which are necessary to produce behavior. In order to function properly, the nervous system must also detect, integrate, and respond to relevant external and internal signals. In this course we will focus on the behaviors related to orientation, communication, feeding, and reproduction. These topics have been studied extensively and will also demonstrate the importance of hormones, neural development, and evolution in order to understand animal behavior. Animals will be observed through videos and demonstrations. Student participation outside of scheduled class meetings may be required. A field trip may be arranged. As preparation for this course, students are expected to have some basic understanding of neural mechanisms and functioning.