PSB 3002

Physiological Psychology

Tuesdays, 6:00 – 8:50

Room 343

Instructor: Dr. Shannon Whitten


Phone Number: 321-433-7981

Office Number: 227, Palm Bay Campus

Office Hours: Mondays and Tuesdays, 2:00 – 6:00 and by appointment

Course Web-site: direct link:

Can also access through:


Description: In this course we will discuss the anatomy and physiology of the brain and nervous system and explore how biology influences behavior.

Prerequisites: General Psychology, PSY 2012

Book: Biological Psychology, 8th or 9th Edition, James W. Kalat, Wadsworth Publishing, ISBN: 0534588166 (8th)

Lecture Notes: Can be found on the course web-site. To log in, you need to enter your NID and password. This is the same as the MyUCF NID and password.  Lecture notes will be posted each week before class.

Grades: Grades will come from 3 sources: Homework, Quizzes, and Exams. The majority of your grade will come from homework and quizzes. The breakdown of grades is as follows:



500 points



400 points



100 points


Every few weeks, you will be assigned a project for homework. These assignments are meant to help you apply the material you are learning in class to you life. I will not accept late homework assignments, so if you miss a class, please contact a fellow student or the instructor and check the web-site.


A mid-term and a final exam will be administered. Both are cumulative and will contain multiple choice, labeling, and essay questions. You must contact me beforehand if you plan to miss the mid-term or final & you will be given an alternative exam for University Approved Absences only.  I will require proof of the excused absence.

Again, homework and quizzes cannot be made-up. Exams can be made up only for documented reasons presented before the exam date. Make-up exams will take place on the date of the next exam.

Grading Scale:

90 -100% 

895 - 1000 points

80 - 89% 

795 - 894 points

70 - 79% 

695 - 794 points

60 - 69% 5

95 - 694 points

under 60% 

under 595 points

Extra Credit

“Show and Tell”: You will get 2 points extra credit if you bring in something that illustrates the topic that week: a newspaper or magazine article, a clip for the nightly news, whatever you’ve got. You are required to describe this to the class and how it relates to the topic that week. This option is only available one time this semester.

Research Participation: You may also wish to obtain extra credit by participating in research projects through the UCF psychology department. You will be granted one extra credit point for each hour of research participation for a maximum of 10 extra credit points. Sign up for projects by going to:

Make-up policy: This class relies heavily on attendance. There are no make-ups. If you must miss a class (for a documented reason) you have to contact me before the assignment is due!!! The following are your only options to make up for a missed class:

·        One class is “free” … in other words, one quiz will be dropped. So, you are free to miss one quiz without penalty.

·        E-mail or drop off homework to me before it is due if you will miss class the week it is due.

·        Contact another student or the instructor for missed assignments

·        If you have a documented, university – approved absence, you need to see me as soon as possible to make necessary arrangements! I can work with you in cases of emergency or illness, but I need to know ASAP.

General Policies:

Preparation and Attendance. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to obtain missed materials (notes etc.) from your classmates. You will get zero points for missed in-class assignments.  Further, it is my experience that students who often miss classes do not perform by far as well as students who attend the lectures.  We will often do demonstrations in class which may critically improve understanding of the more complex issues, which are likely to be topic of quiz questions.  Thus, my advice is that you keep current with the materials both through reading and regular attendance. You are responsible for both the lecture material and any assigned reading material.

Cheating. Cheating is a serious offense. According to the UCF Undergraduate Catalog, cheating occurs when “…non-permissible written, visual, or oral assistance including that obtained from another student is utilized on examinations, course assignments, or projects. The unauthorized possession or use of examination or course related material may also constitute cheating.” It includes, but is not limited to, the copying of quiz and exam answers, assignments, or parts of papers from classmates, or allowing classmates to copy yours, as well as attempts to do this.  Such acts constitute theft of intellectual property and violate the rights of the owner.  Furthermore, it is unfair towards other classmates who obtain their credit points through their own work.  The names of students who cheat are reported to the University’s office of judicial affairs, possible resulting in expulsion, and will receive an F in the course. Cheating is NOT worth it!

Plagiarism.  Plagiarism is a serious form of cheating.  Plagiarizing means to “take and pass off another’s thoughts, writings, etc. as one’s own” (Oxford Dictionary).  According to the UCF Undergraduate Catalog, plagiarism occurs when “another’s work is deliberately used or appropriated without any indication of the source, thereby attempting to convey the impression that such work is the student’s own. Any student failing to properly credit ideas or materials taken from another has plagiarized.” The Ethics Code of the American Psychological Association states under article 6.22, on plagiarism: “Psychologists do not present substantial portions or elements of another's work or data as their own, even if the other work or data source is cited occasionally. “  This code is binding for all psychologists including students majoring in this field.  Whenever I suspect that a student’s writings are not their own, and are taken verbatim or with only minimal modification (exchange of words, etc.) from another source, I will investigate the matter.  Since plagiarism is a serious offense, I will proceed with no mercy when I recognize it.  Students will receive an F on the work that they plagiarized for, and will be reported to the board of judicial affairs.  In short, do not plagiarize, either from other students’ papers, journal papers, web pages, or any other source.

Laptop policy: You must see me and sign a consent form before using a lap-top in class.  

Students with Disabilities: Students with disabilities are strongly encouraged to approach the instructor about any assistance that is needed for participation in this class. Students are also encouraged to contact Jim Smith, campus life coordinator for the Southern Region, for any questions about policies concerning those students with disabilities.

***** Dates for topics, assignments, and exams are subject to change at the discretion of the instructor based on the needs of this class and topic completion. Any changes will be announced in class at least one week before the change goes into effect  *****



Course Introduction 



Major Issues; Genetics 

Chapter 1

1- 22 

Nerve Cells 

Chapter 2



Chapter 3


Anatomy of the Nervous system 

Chapter 4

2- 12 

Development and Plasticity of the Brain 

Chapter 5


Mid-Term Exam



Sensation and Perception; Vision 

Chapter 6


Wakefulness and Sleep, Internal Regulation 

Chapters 9 and 10


Spring Break!



Learning and Memory 

Chapter 13



Chapter 14



Chapter 15


Psychological Disorders 

Chapter 16


Exam Review





***** Dates for topics, assignments, and exams are subject to change at the discretion of the instructor based on the needs of this class and topic completion. Any changes will be announced in class at east one week before the change goes into effect  *****