Drugs and Behavior

Psychology 420/520

Fall 2000

Class Meeting: M T W H 11:00am-11:50am

Instructor: Edison Perdomo, Ph. D.

Office: 28 Armstrong Hall

Phone: 389-5819
Email Address: edison.perdomo@mnsu.edu
Office Hours: M-H 8:15am-10:45am (and by appointments)
Class Meeting: M T W H 11:00am-11:50am

DRUGS AND HUMAN BEHAVIOR, 2nd Ed. Tibor Palfai & Henry Jankiewicz

Course Overview
The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the area of behavioral psychopharmacology, including drug classifications, drug actions, and their effects on behavior. First, an overview of the nervous system and general principles of drug action is provided. Second, this background is used to understand the mechanisms by which drugs influence behavior. Information on licit and illicit drugs, their use/abuse in society today, and a historical perspective on drug use is covered.

Three exams will be given during this course. Exams consist of true/false, multiple choice, short answers, and fill in the blank questions. The information for examinations comes directly from the lectures . The textbook and videos are to be used to clarify topics covered in class. Therefore, it is in your best interest to attend all lectures. There will be no extra credit assignments allowed as a means to improve your course grade.

Articles Presentation
As part of your final grade, all students will be required to present an empirical study of interest to the class and submit a 3-5 page typewritten paper on the topic. The article presentation must include the following:

  1. A brief review of the purpose/rationale for conducting the study. Include a brief discussion of general background information, such as problems and limitations of previous studies, which led researchers to conduct the current investigation.
  2. A summary of the study's research methodology. Include a description of the subjects and procedures used in the study.
  3. A summary of the results of the study. Include a description of the most important and interesting findings of the study.
  4. An explanation of the implications of the study. Address how the findings of this study apply to and/or extend the material we covered in class.
  5. A critical review of the study. Identify both the strengths and weaknesses of the study.

Literature Review Paper (graduate students only).
Each graduate student will be required to write a 10-15 page review paper on one topic discussed in this course. This review paper can be used as the individuals article presentation. Paper should follow APA format, demonstrate clear understanding of the issues and should integrate the students research interest. All papers are due by December 7, 2000.

Extra Credit
Extra credit can be earned in three ways during the semester (See below). Students may earn up to a combined total of 10 extra credit points. All extra credit assignments are due by December 12, 2000.

  1. Research Participation: extra credit by participating in psychological research conducted in the department of Psvchology. In General, I experiment credit is awarded for each 1/2 hour of participation. In this class each experiment credit will count for 1 extra credit points. For example, if you participate in a study that lasts for one hour, you will receive 2 experiment credits.

  1. Media Report: Find an article appearing in a newspaper or popular magazine (e.g.. Time, Newsweek etc.,) that discusses issues relevant to the topics in this course. The article should be dated sometime during the Fall 200 semester. You should summarize the article, and describe how it is relates to what you have learned in class. Your report should be typed, double spaced, and be 2-3 pages in length. Each report is worth up to 2 points.

  1. Movie Review: Watch a movie with a psychological theme. After watching the movie write a report describing the psychological aspects of the movie. Your report should be double spaced, and be 2-3 pages in length. Each report is worth up to 2 points.

  1. Surprise Quizzes: The instructor’s maintains the right to administer surprise quizzes to reward attendance and participation. Quiz point values are the up to the instructor’s discretion.

A 90-100%
B 80-89%
C 70-79%
D 60-69%
F 0-59%

Academic Issues
**Every attempt will be made to accomodate qualified students with disabilities. If you are a student with a documented disability, please see me as early in the semester as possible to discuss the necessary accomodations, and/or contact the Disabilities Services Office at (507)389-2825 (V) or 1-800-627-3529 (MRS/TTY).
Make up examinations must be approved in advance by the instructor or an approved medical excuse provided. Academic misconduct (i.e. cheating) will lead to a loss of grade on the examination.


8/28 Course Overview & Introduction 1

8/29 Nervous System Parts and Pieces 9-11

8/30 Neuron & Neuroanatomy 9-11

8/31 Neurotransmission & Neuroconduction 9-11

9/4 Labor Day (No Class)

8/5 Neurotransmission & Neuroconduction 9-11

9/6 Neurotransmitters I: General Aspects 12

9/7 Neurotransmitters II: Classic 12

9/11 Neurotransmitters III: Peptides 12

9/12 Pharmacological Basics 2-8

9/13 Pharmacological Basics 2-8

9/14 Pharmacokinetics 2-8

9/18 Tolerance and Dependence 2-8

9/19 Drug Classification 13

9/20 Video &endash; Brain, Neuroanatomy & the Neuron

9/21 Review

9/25 Exam 1

9/26 Student Presentations

9/27 Return of Exams

9/28 Sedative I: Alcohol 15

10/2 Sedative II: Barbiturates 16

10/3 Sedative III: Benzodiazepines 17

10/4 Stimulants I: Methylxanthines 23

10/5 Student Presentations

10/9 Stimulants II: Nicotine 24

10/10 Stimulants II: Cocaine 21/22

10/11 Video - Pablo Escobar

10/12 Student Presentations

10/16 Stimulants III: Amphetamine 21/22

10/17 Opioids I 25-27

10/18 Opioids II 25-27

10/19 Student Presentations

10/23 Video &endash; Ancient Drugs

10/24 Hallucinogens I: Overview 28-30

10/25 Hallucinogens II: LSD 28-30

10/26 Student Presentations

10/30 Hallucinogens III: Cannabinoids 28-30

10/31 Video - Marijuana

11/1 Review

11/2 Student Presentations

11/6 Exam 2

11/7 Antipsychotics 18/19

11/8 Return of Exams

11/9 Student Presentations

11/13 Video - Schizophrenia

11/14 Antipsychotics 18/19

11/15 Parkinson’s Disease 20

11/6 Student Presentations

11/20 Antidepressants 20

11/21 Antidepressants 20

11/22-25 Thanksgiving (No Classes)

11/27 Antimanics & Antianxiety 20

11/28 Drug Development

11/29 Drug Use in Research

11/30 Drug Use in Society

12/4 Drug Use in Society

12/5 Drugs and the Law

12/6 Drugs and the Law

12/7 Review

12/12 TUESDAY Final Exam from 10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

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