Mapping Mind through its Molecules
Psychology 119P
Winter 2001
T R 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
Franz A279
Professor Nancy Woolf
Office: 8633 Franz Hall
Office hours:  W 10:00-10:50 am  
Phone: (310) 206-7874  


The Biological Basis of Neuropharmacology, 7th Ed. (1996) Cooper, Bloom & Roth

Dreaming as Delirium: How the Brain Goes out of its Mind (1999) J. Allan Hobson

Mapping the Mind (1999) Rita Carter.

Course Description:  
This course explains how neural molecules provide a unique window into mind. Topics include neurotransmitters, receptors, ion channels, and signal transduction molecules. We cover roles these molecules play in information processing, consciousness, learning, memory, neural plasticity, degeneration and psychiatric disorders.  
The course objective is to provide an understanding of the chemical bases of mental processes, collectively known as mind.  
Exams and Grading:  
The grading will be based on a midterm (50% of the grade), a paper (35% of the grade), and a short final exam (15% of the grade). The midterm and final will consist of multiple-choice questions. The required paper should be 8 – 10 pages, double-spaced, and fully referenced. The topic must be related to material covered after the midterm and must be approved by the instructor.   




1 Basic fundamentals of mind      Carter, Ch. 1  
  Complexity of mind parallels the complexity of  neurotransmitter types and their responses  Hobson, Ch. 1-3
2 Synaptic actions of neurotransmitters            
  Receptors: ionotropic v. metabotropic receptors  Cooper et al.,  Ch. 4 
  Transmitter-gated ion channels Cooper et al.,  Ch. 2
3 Amino acid transmitters    
  GABA the “classic” inhibitory neurotransmitter   Cooper et al.,  Ch. 6
  Mapping sensory information                                          Carter, Ch. 5  
4 Acetylcholine  

Acetylcholine the “classic” neurotransmitter at the neuromuscular junction and a CNS neurotransmitter or neuromodulator  

Cooper et al.,  Ch. 7

Perchance to dream: Acetylcholine and REM sleep            

Hobson, Ch. 4-6

5 Norepinephrine and epinephrine    
  Two catecholamines that act as hormones and as neurotransmitters or neuromodulators  Cooper et al., Ch. 8
  Norepinephrine and vigilance  Hobson, Ch. 7-9
6 Dopamine    
  Dopamine a catecholamine abundant in the basal ganglia     Cooper et al., Ch. 9
  Dopamine: roles in disease and reward                          Carter, Ch. 3  
7 Serotonin    
  Serotonin in sleep-wakefulness and mood Cooper et al., Ch. 10
  MIDTERM EXAM: Thursday, may 17    
8 Paper topics due    
  Learning and Memory    
  Looking toward the molecular basis of memory  Carter, Ch. 7
  Roles played by neurotransmitters and signal transduction molecules   Cooper et al., Ch. 12
9 Neuropharmacology of Degenerative and Psychiatric Disorders  
  Parkinson’s disease and dopamine, Alzheimer’s disease and acetylcholine Cooper et al., Ch. 13
  Schizophrenia and dopamine, Depression and serotonin, Mood stabilizers   
10 Molecules and Mind   
  Hobson’s theory of neurotransmitters, consciousness and mind  Hobson, Ch. 10-12
  Neuropharmacology and Penrose-Hameroff Orch OR Carter, Ch. 8  
  PAPERS DUE: Thursday, June 7, in class. (No exceptions.)    
  FINAL EXAM: Monday, June 11, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.