N153: Neuropharmacology is taught in Fall and Spring Quarters by Professor Christie Fowler.


Dr. Christie D. Fowler

Prerequisite: BIO SCI N110

Course Objective:

The objective of this course is to introduce you to the chemical bases of behavior and the mechanisms by which various drugs influence the biological and psychological aspects of a behaving organism. This will be accomplished with a general introduction to the basics of neuropsychopharmacology and neurochemical signaling, followed by an examination of major drug classifications, emphasizing primarily the biological and at times clinical and social, dimensions of their actions.

By the end of the course, you should have a basic understanding of:
1. Principles of pharmacology
2. Brain chemistry/chemical signaling
3. Basic understanding of methods in neuropsychopharmacology
4. Mechanisms of action for the most common drugs
5. The main psychological, behavioral, and social impacts of drug use and abuse

Research Paper and Class Presentation:

You are required to complete a research paper analyzing two prescription drugs. Following the submission of the paper, your group will present the research findings to the class in an oral presentation with PowerPoint slides. The research paper will be worth 80 points and the class presentation will be worth 20 points.

Sample Syllabus:

1 Introduction/Pharmacology
2 Nervous System Review/Chemical Signaling
3 Chemical Signalling
4 Catecholamines
5 Serotonin
6 Acetylcholine
7 Glutamate and GABA
8 Addiction
9 Alcohol
10 Opioids
11 Cocaine and Amphetamines
12 Nicotine and Caffeine
13 Marijuana and Cannabinoids
14 Student Presentations
15 Student Presentations
16 Student Presentations
17 Student Presentations
18 Student Presentations
19 Student Presentations
20 Student Presentations