Courses

Introductory Neuroscience (NEU 145) This course introduces students to the fundamental topics and concepts critical to understanding the biological and psychological components of Neuroscience.  Topics include the biochemistry of action potentials, the functioning of ion channels, a brief overview of systems neuroscience (vision, audition, etc.), neurotransmitters and peripheral endocrine systems, learning and memory, the effects of neurotransmitters on behavior, the biology underlying several psychiatric disorders, and basic neuroanatomy.  Highlights include dissecting sheep brains to learn basic neuroanatomy, and working in Loras College's live rodent colony to understand how stress affects behavior.  Instructor: Jarcho.  Offered: SP.  Prerequisites: BIO 115 or PSY 101.

Techniques in Neuroendocrinology (NEU 211) This course introduces students to techniques relevant to the field of neuroendocrinology, both in terms of the theory that describes the techniques and in terms of practicing the techniques with biological samples.  Students will read and discuss primary literature sources from work with both human and non-human models.  Extensive laboratory work teaches students laboratory techniques including sterile technique, radioimmunoassay, and enzyme immunoassay.  Part of the term is spent at the University of Nebraska, Omaha (UNO).  Instructor: Jarcho.  Offered: odd-year J-terms.  Prerequisite: NEU 145.

Exploring the Brain through Traumatic Brain Injury (NEU 281) It is difficult to fully understand how the brain functions under completely normal working conditions.  One technique used to investigate brain functioning is through clinical cases where there has been trauma in a specified region of the brain.  Thus, in people with traumatic brain injuries neuroscientists can locate the region of trauma and any change in functioning of the individual.  This course is designed to explore the brain through various historical cases and provide a deeper understanding of neuro-functioning from resulting deficits in dissociated brain regions.  Clinical cases will be provided as we travel from the frontal lobe to the temporal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe and beyond.  Instructor: Bagley.  Offered: odd-year FA.  Prerequisite: NEU 145.

Hormones and Behavior (NEU 311) This course introduces students to several topics within the field of neuroendocrinology.  Topics include the blood brain barrier, synthesis and release of neurotransmitters relevant to behavior, psychosomatic interactions, and the effects of various monoamine, peptide, and steroid hormones on sexual, reproductive, affiliative, aggressive, parental, and reward-seeking behaviors.  In addition to readings from the text, students will read and discuss primary literature sources from work with both human and non-human models.  Laboratory work teaches students several research skills and laboratory techniques including study design, behavioral observation and scoring, sample collection, processing and analysis, and data set management.  Instructor: Jarcho.  Offered: even-year SP.  Prerequisite: NEU 145.

Independent Study/Research Elective (NEU 390) It is imperative that students in the field of neuroscience understand the scientific method and how to research topics about the brain that we, as a field, have yet to fully comprehend. This experiential class requires students to either 1) propose a novel neuroscience research study or 2) conduct neuroscience research and write a report of their findings. Discussions with the instructor before enrolling in the course determine the topic of interest and which project the student(s) will complete during that semester, as well as which course option (1 or 2) they will complete. Students meet weekly with the course instructor and students may take this course up to 3 times (with 1 credit given each semester). This course gives students a clear understanding of the scientific method and skills needed to conduct research in the field of neuroscience from conception to implementation to presentation.  Instructor: Bagley.  Offered: per student demand.  Prerequisites: NEU 145 and declared Neuroscience major.

Neurosciene Senior Seminar I This course is the first semester of a capstone series for all students completing a major in Neuroscience.  The course meets once per week, and majors enroll in the course during the fall semester of their Senior year at Loras College (exceptions (e.g. for study abroad programs, etc.) are made at the discretion of the Neuroscience faculty).  The course involves: 1) Discussion of current topics in the field of neuroscience, facilitated through directed readings. 2) Invited speakers in the field of neuroscience that share both their experience in getting to their various positions within the field, and any current research they are involved in.  3) Exercises designed to prepare Neuroscience majors for their post-graduation plans, whether those include employment or enrollment in a graduate or health-related program.  Instructor: Jarcho.  Offered: FA.  Prerequisites: NEU 145, Neuroscience major, Senior standing.
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