Required Text: Brick,J. & Erickson,C.K. (1999). Drugs, the Brain and Behavior, Haworth Medical Press. or something similar
Supplemental Text: Sections of required readings from Thompson,R.F. The Brain: A neuroscience primer, 3rd Ed. Worth Publ.
(or similar books/materials)
Three 100pt hr exams, Drop lowest exam score, =200 pts
Final "Exit" exam Comprehensive and required = 80pts
Outside class, Experiment subject participation = 10pts
Total Possible = 290 pts
No make-up exams given (a missed 1hr exam becomes "dropped" score)
Course Withdrawal: Dependent upon date of withdrawal (see below "course policies")
Examination & Grading Policies
Letter course grades will be assigned based on a curve of total numbers of points earned on exams (280 maximum exam points). Grades will be reported as A, B, C etc. rather than the new fangled A, A-, B+ etc. All exams are multiple-choice, matching and short-answer questions from lecture and textbook, with greatest emphasis on lecture materials. There is no "term paper" for the class nor is "extra credit" work possible.
The comprehensive Final Exit Exam is required; you must take it. It is designed to assess understanding of fundamental data & concepts as the student "exits" the course. Broad, general questions for the Final will come only from lectures.
Policy on Make-up Tests.
Please know at the outset that no make-up exams will be given under any circumstances. This policy has evolved over the years after considerable hand-wringing and many unsuccessful attempts to develop a make-up test format that is fair to all students. The fundamental problem is that, because test grades are "curved", make-up scores cannot be equated fairly with the regular test curves. Still, make-ups were administered because most often students miss an exam for quite legitimate reasons. The final solution is the current policy. Testing is structured to eliminate the need for making up a missed exam by allowing students taking all tests to drop the lowest score. A missed test becomes the dropped exam. In fairness to all students in the class, this policy applies equally for all excuses, including illness, car problems, family crises and funerals.
Policy on "Dropping the Class"
Our policy on being excused from the class follows the rules for withdrawal from a course described clearly in the University Bulletin. It is, I believe, an uncharacteristically generous set of rules. To summarize, the Bulletin indicates that students can "drop" a class without penalty, other than loss of some or all tuition money, anytime during the first quarter of the semester. During those initial 4 weeks into a regular semester (2 weeks of a summer session) no permission from the instructor is necessary. No grade is assigned and no record of being enrolled in the class appears on the transcript. It is as if you were never there, sort of like in Roswell, New Mexico.
After that deadline, and lasting until approximately 80% of the semester is completed, withdrawal remains an option. But, it is a more tenuous process. First, the student must obtain and complete a special form available from various administrative offices, for example, A&S (Lucas Hall) or the Registrar (Woods Hall). Next, the student must present the form and the "reason for requesting a drop" to the instructor. It is the Instructor's discretion to sign and indicate that the withdrawal is excused (EXC) or unexcused. The latter appears on the transcript as an "F" grade. Our policy for this course is that, after the deadline to withdraw without Instructor permission, the withdrawing student must have a passing grade to receive the EXC. Definition of a "passing grade" is over 60% of the total possible points earned on tests taken beyond the 1st exam. That is, if you have taken only the 1st exam, you may choose that exam as your "dropped exam score" and receive an EXC. However, you must have earned 60% of the points on any subsequent exam taken. Finally, under no circumstances will a drop be allowed after the "80% of the semester" deadline has passed.
Course overview & drug history
Principles of digestive & circulatory physiology
Principles of pharmacology
Principles of neurophysiology
Principles of behavioral neuropharmacology
Abuse treatments & psychotherapeutic drugs
Anti-depressants & anti-anxiety meds
Modifying C.N.S. function
Ubiquitous drugs: Nicotine, caffeine etc.
Ubiquitous drugs: Steroids
Drug policy & control