Montana State University

Department of Cell Biology & Neuroscience

Montana State University
P.O. Box 173148
Bozeman, MT 59717-3148

Tel: (406) 994-5120
Fax: (406) 994-7077
Location: 510 Leon Johnson Hall

Department Chair

Frances Lefcort, Ph.D.



BIOH 435: Cognitive Neuroscience

Syllabus, Spring 2012


Instructor: Charles Gray, Ph.D.

Professor of Cell Biology and Neuroscience
Office: 994-7338

Course Content:
This 3-unit upper-division course will survey the fundamental principles of cognitive neuroscience. Topics will include the neuroanatomy of the mammalian brain and the neurophysiology of cognitive functions, such as perception, attention, learning and memory, motor control and consciousness. The course will utilize a reference textbook and focus on primary scientific literature in all areas of cognitive neuroscience. Five or more quizzes will be given roughly every two weeks during the semester. Each quiz will be comprehensive, but emphasis will be on recent material covered since the previous quiz. Students will be required to give one 20-minute oral presentation (using PowerPoint) critically summarizing the findings of a recent research article in cognitive neuroscience. These presentations will be on Thursdays. A midterm paper will be required that summarizes and evaluates the findings of 4 closely related papers in the scientific literature on a topic in cognitive neuroscience. A final paper will also be required in which the student must propose a detailed experimental plan to test a specific hypothesis of their own design relating brain function to some aspect of cognition. This paper will be due on the first day of finals week.

The instructor will be available by appointment for further discussion anytime outside of class. Grading will be based on the oral presentation (10%), midterm paper (25%), quizzes (25%) and the final paper (40%). Enrollment is limited to 25 students.

Neurophysiology (BIOL-313)

Principles of Cognitive Neuroscience, D. Purves, E.M. Brannon, R. Cabeza, S.A. Huettel, K.S. LaBar, M.L. Platt, and M. Woldorff. Sinauer Associates Inc., 2008.

Course Website:

Suppl. Texts:
Cognitive Neuroscience 3rd Edition, Gazzaniga, Ivry and Mangun, Norton, New York, 2009.
Cognition, Brain and Consciousness: An Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience, B. Baars and N.M. Gage. Associated Press, 2010.
The Human Brain: An Introduction to its Functional Anatomy, 6th Edition. Nolte, J., Mosby, 2009.

Scientific Journals:
Consult PubMed:

The Digital Anatomist -


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