PSYX 491-001 - Sleep - Taught by Suzanna Powell

This course is designed as an introduction to the science of sleep, sleep research, and disorders associatedwith sleep. Sleep is an interdisciplinary problem. Concepts range from biology and neuroscience (sleepphylogeny, circadian rhythms, sleep/wake regulation, sleep physiology), psychology (dreaming, primaryinsomnia, sleep disorders, comorbid mental illness, maturational changes related to sleep and sleepdisorders,) culture and history. By the end of the course students will be able to demonstrate anunderstanding of research, sleep stages, patterns and other salient features associated with sleep and sleepdisorders.

PSYX 491-002 - Evolutionary Psychology - Taught by Chris Lustraaf

The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with the adaptive purpose of behavior, cognition, and interpersonal perception from an evolutionary standpoint, both in humans and non-human animals. Students will be familiarized with evolutionary theory as a whole, and apply this knowledge to various aspects of human perception, cognition, and behavior. A major emphasis will be placed on discussing information that is empirically supported. Humans as a species are very social, and natural selection has been a driving force behind the establishment and maintenance of social groups. Thus, it is critically important to consider the impact of the physical and social environment, both past and present, on human psychological processes and behavior.

PSYX 491-801 - Comparative Psychology (online) 

PSYX 491, Seminar in Comparative Psychology is an upper-division, online course, taught using
an Active Learning format.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), Comparative Psychology is thestudy of the behavior of humans and other animals, with a special eye on similarities anddifferences that may shed light on evolutionary and developmental processes (APA, Div. 6). I,and many others, have adopted a more contemporary approach, which we will use in this course:the scientific study of species’ behavioral and mental processes that aims to provide insight intothe processes’ adaptive significance and the shared evolutionary histories of both the processesand species. Note that the contemporary definition dropped the anthropocentric focus;comparative research is conducted to learn about the relationships between many species, and isnot guided by a priority to understand human evolution over another species.   
In PSYX 491 we will explore comparative psychology’s ontogeny (path to it’s foundation),phylogeny (where comparative psychology fits within the larger study of psychology), andevolution (how it has changed over time). This course will survey classic and modern studies ofboth empirical and theoretical nature. This exploration will occur through the reading, criticalanalysis, and discussion of history, theory, research, reviews, job-postings and stories from thefield of comparative psychology. Lessons will be based on readings, both peer-review primaryliterature and popular literature, and the format of lessons will vary between PowerPoint, videos,
writing assignments, and discussions.