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Courses for Undergraduate Students

PSYC 51Q: Culture, Psychology, and Mental Health Treatment

Focuses on a critical analysis of Western approach to psychology and psychiatric terms of understanding mental illness, psychiatric phenomena, and treatment of mental health disorders. Includes an orientation to and critique of western clinical psychology/psychiatry and an inquity as to its relevance outside Western settings. Includes guest speakers representing cross-cultural providers of mental health services as well as medical anthropologists and critics of the Western generalizations in psychiatry. Special attention place on cross-cultural psychiatry and international mental health efforts.

Terms: Spr | Units: 2
Instructors: Reicherter, D. (PI)

PSYC 53Q: Your Secret Mind: Getting to Know and Living with your Unconscious

Focuses on the motivational unconscious. Topics include the science of the unconscious mind and the techniques used to gain conscious access to these psychological process, as well as methods of exploring students' own unconscious for creative purposes and to understand personal habits, reactions, motives, emotions and thoughts. Case-based, problem-oriented format utilized to develop foundational understanding of the science of the unconscious mind. Emphasis on student study of self and own unconscious as case for the class. Student privacy will be protected.

Terms: Spr | Units: 3
Instructors: Steiner, H. (PI)

PSYC 54N: Genes, Memes and Behavior

Examines how natural selection operates to shape successful genes in the gene pool, how cultural selection operates to shape successful "memes" in the pool of cultural ideas, and how selection by consequences operates to shape successful behaviors in our repertoires. Topics include cases in which selection produces undesirable consequences (e.g. genetic mutations, cultural problems, and aberrant behaviors in children). Emphasis on understanding the role of modern natural science in complex behaviors and why study of human life from an interdisciplinary perspective is important.

Terms: Aut, Spr, Sum | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-SMA
Instructors: Hall, S. (PI)

PSYC 55N: Secrecy

What is a secret and why do we keep them? What is the cost - and the burden - of secret-keeping? The focus of this seminar will be professional secrecy, as we explore corporate confidentiality and the secret-keeping expected of all of us as professionals, and those who are engaged in issues of national security. Secrecy will be discussed in both ethical and practical frameworks. Students will begin to develop a personal ethic related to secrecy and will grapple with the intersection of secrets, lies and obfuscation.

Terms: Win | Units: 3
Instructors: Jacobs, J. (PI)

PSYC 60N: The Psychology of Stoked

Examines the biological, psychological and social aspects of what it means to live a positive, life-affirming existence. Drawing from a wide range of sources, from psychiatry and psychology, to spirituality and philosophy, seminar informs on the latest thinking about the psychology of happiness, and questions assumptions about personal happiness. Explores the new field of positive psychology and pulls from a multidisciplinary literature, examining life satisfaction and happiness from many perspectives, and the psychiatry of stimulation including substance, human sexuality, and healthy methods of attaining happiness. Includes guest speakers from many different backgrounds and perspectives. Examines what it means to be truly mindful.

Terms: Win | Units: 3
Instructors: Joshi, S. (PI) ; Reicherter, D. (PI)

PSYC 78N: Mental Health in Collegiate Athletes

Developmental, psychological, social, and performance issues in collegiate sports. Topics include transition to Stanford, time management, optimizing mental fitness, coping with injuries.

Terms: Win | Units: 3
Instructors: Steiner, H. (PI)

PSYC 82: The Literature of Psychosis (ANTHRO 82P, HUMBIO 162L, PSYC 282)

One of the great gifts of literature is its ability to give us insight into the internal worlds of others. This is particularly true of that state clinicians call "psychosis." But psychosis is a complex concept. It can be terrifying and devastating for patients and families, and yet shares characteristics with other, less pathological states, such as mysticism and creativity. How then can we begin to make sense of it? In this course, we will examine the first-hand experience of psychosis. We will approach it from multiple perspectives, including clinical descriptions, works of art, and texts by writers ranging from Shakespeare, to the science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, to patients attempting to describe their experience. This class is not only for students thinking of careers in medicine, psychology or anthropology, but also readers and writers interested exploring extraordinary texts. There are no prerequisites necessary; all that is needed is a love of language and a curiosity about the secrets of other minds.

Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Repeatable for credit
Mason, D. (PI)

PSYC 83: Addictions in our World: From Physiology to Human Behavior

Addiction is a powerful brain-based behavioral disorder that interferes with many lives. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health has estimated 21.5 million Americans aged 12 and older are classified as having a substance use disorder, an extraordinary 8.1% of the population. The field of mental health is advancing the understanding of this disorder through research, education, innovation and policy guidance. This class aims to help students better understand the struggles of addiction in our world by discussing many components involved in the disease including: physiology, psychology, treatment options, and the societal implications of addiction.nnStudents will engage in thought-provoking between psychology, neuroscience, and society. They will develop the knowledge-base and framework to critically evaluate the science behind addiction and how to apply this knowledge to address the addiction epidemic in our world. As technology advances, many new types of addiction are emerging, cre more »

Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI, WAY-SMA
McNerney, M. (PI) ; Ostacher, M. (PI)

PSYC 84Q: Neurobiology of Depression: Why Depression Is A Brain Disorder And How Brain Stimulation May Treat It

The course is a basic review of how we define depression, and a description of a new 'systems model' to understand the neurobiology of depression. We will consider the model in the context of the illness and why brain stimulation treatments work. nDetailsnThe class will be organized as a working group. Initially I will dead by discussing depression as a clinical entity as well as common treatment approaches. I will then discuss a framework to understand the systems model, how we can do research in the scientific literature, and from that create a more detailed map of the neurobiological basis of depression. nAs the quarter progresses, the emphasis will be on the students: to ask questions relevant to the illness and neurogiology; to do in class searches of the Pubmed database, integrate what we have found into the general systems model, and discuss how the literature confirms, informs, or contradicts our basic model. nStudents will work in small groups to develop slides that summarize their findings from the literature. As we develop a context to understand the neurogiology of depression, we will consider how brain stimulation can be an effective treatment.

Terms: Win | Units: 3
Instructors: Solvason, H. (PI)

PSYC 86Q: Psychology of Xenophobia

What is the current U.S. socio-political climate like for Muslims? How is it affecting their mental health? Executive Order 13769, dubbed the "Muslim Ban", suspended the entry of citizens from multiple Muslim-majority countries and banned the entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely. The "Muslim Ban" coincided with the highest level of hate crimes against Muslims in America (91% increase in 2017 per CAIR). These levels are comparable to post-9/11 levels of hate crimes. Decades of research on minority communities has documented how stress associated with stigma, intimidation and discrimination is detrimental to physical and mental health. In this seminar we will explore the historical implications of Islamophobia and its modern-day impact on the global refugee crisis. Students will be introduced to the stigma that surrounds mental health in general and minority communities in particular. Special attention will be paid to the development of the nascent field Islamic Psychology and integrati more »

Terms: Win | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-ED, WAY-SI
Instructors: Awaad, R. (PI)

PSYC 111Q: The Changing Face of "Mental Illness" in Women: Historical, Medical and Artistic Approaches

In this seminar we want to take a look at women¿s lives beginning in the past century to the present and the many changes which occurred in conceptualizing and understanding mental illness. The female reproductive system has been linked to mental illness in women for centuries. The womb was believed to be the source of anxiety and depression, leading women to become `hysterical'. But what does `hysteria' really mean, and how have historical and cultural attitudes towards women framed the study of women's mental health? How have the expectations of and demands on women and their role in society changed from the 19th to the 20th century? How have advances in health care and changing economic conditions influenced women¿s health? The course will introduce students to historical and current concepts of mental illness in women. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMS), eating disorders, the hysterias and functional neurologic disorders and infertility and postpartum depression will be analyzed more »

Terms: Win | Units: 3
Instructors: Casper, R. (PI) ; Williams, K. (PI)

PSYC 124: Brain Plasticity

Neuroplasticity refers to the brain's remarkable ability to modify its own structure and function. The brain does so in response to changes in the body or in the external environment, adjusting parameters from molecules to neurons. In this course, we will cover the overarching principles of brain plasticity: how the brain comes to mirror the details of the outside world, how it adjusts itself based on sensory deficits, how new sensory capacities can be added, how circuitry is modified by activities and goals, why it's harder to teach an old dog new tricks, how we remember, and disorders of plasticity.

Terms: Win | Units: 3
Eagleman, D. (PI) ; Louie, A. (PI) ; Holland, K. (TA)

PSYC 125: The Brain and the Law

How does neuroscience intersect with the making of laws, the punishment of criminals, and the development of rehabilitation? Is it a legitimate defense to claim that a tumor made you do it? How are the brains of minors different from adult brains? Should brain imaging be leveraged for sentencing? How should culpability be assessed, given that we're all steered by genetic and environmental influences over which we have no choice? This course covers the biological underpinnings that have legal consequences, with an eye toward designing evidence-based policy. Topics include responsibility, punishment, prediction, rehabilitation, brain death, genetics, competence, technologies, and ethics.

Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | Repeatable for credit
Eagleman, D. (PI) ; Louie, A. (PI)

PSYC 135: Sleep and Dreams (PSYC 235)

Dr. William Dement created Sleep and Dreams in 1971, the world¿s first university undergraduate-level course on the science of sleep. Now as an emeritus professor, he continues to be actively involved in the course teaching many of the lectures and sometimes driving students to class in his golf cart! The course is designed to impart essential knowledge of the neuroscience of sleep and covers how sleep affects our daily lives. The course covers normal sleep and dreams, as well as common sleep disorders. Course content empowers students to make educated decisions concerning sleep and alertness for the rest of their lives and shapes students' attitudes about the importance of sleep. Students will keep track of their sleep patterns during the course. They will also participate in an outreach project to help improve awareness of the importance of sleep heath in our community. Undergraduates must enroll in PSYC 135, while graduate students should enroll in PSYC 235.

Terms: Win, Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER: DB-NatSci, WAY-SMA
Pelayo, R. (PI) ; Spain, R. (TA)

PSYC 139: Understanding Relationships: A Couples and Family Therapy Perspective (PSYC 239)

Considers the premises of the family-systems approach to intimate and family relationships, drawing on concepts from psychology, psychiatry, neurobiology, anthropology, and organizational behavior. Examines relationship formation and commitment, intimacy and sexuality, family development and structure, interpersonal conflict and communication, historical patterns and legacies, gender and power, and the cultural and larger systemic contexts of close relationships. Frameworks for assessing relationships and tools for changing romantic, family, and social relationships are examined in detail, and case examples illustrate the relationship change strategies of major contributors to the field. Highlights practical applications of the family-systems approach in educational, medical, business, and community settings. Students do not need to have a background in Psychology or Human Biology, and all student levels are welcome (including GSB, Law, Medicine, GSE for PSYC 239).

Terms: Spr | Units: 4
Rait, D. (PI)

PSYC 144: Islamic Psychology (PSYC 244)

The first psychiatric hospitals in the world were established as early as the 8th century during the Islamic Golden Era. Despite the emergence of a highly sophisticated and interdisciplinary system of understanding the human psyche in early Islamic history, most students of modern psychology are unfamiliar with this rich history. This course will provide a historical and contemporary review of the Islamic intellectual heritage as it pertains to modern behavioral science and how mental illness was historically perceived and treated in the Muslim world. We will begin with a discussion of Islamic epistemology, reconcile issues such as secular vs sacred sources of knowledge and tackle the mind/body dilemma according to Islamic theology. We will then review holistic schemas of health and pathology in the Islamic religious tradition, the nature of the human being, elements of the human psyche, and principles of change leading to positive character reformation. As Stanford is the academic home of Muslim mental health research globally, we will benefit from talks by guest researchers and speakers, partake in field trips to community partners, and utilize group discussions to provide students with a deeper understanding of these topics.

Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | Repeatable for credit
Awaad, R. (PI)

HUMBIO 163: The Opioid Epidemic: Using Neuroscience to Inform Policy and Law

Enrollment by application only. The opioid epidemic has become a national problem, killing 115 people per day in the United States, and contributing to the first decrease in life expectancy in this country for decades.This is an upper division undergraduate class that aims to help students understand the science of opiates, how opioid prescribing and availability led us to be in this place, and how that information might be used to create effective policy to reverse it. Students will engage didactic work and interactive discussions to stimulate critical thinking at the interface between psychology, psychiatry, addiction medicine, neuroscience, communication, law, and society. They will develop the knowledge-base and framework to critically evaluate the science behind opioid addiction and how to apply this knowledge to address the addiction epidemic. This highly interactive seminar aims to engage the students in critical thinking didactics, activities and discussions that shape their un more »

Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI
McNerney, M. (PI) ; Ostacher, M. (PI)

PSYC 195: Special Laboratory Projects

Assist Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Program with data entry, library organization, and study-related projects.

Terms: Aut, Win, Spr, Sum | Units: 1-3 | Repeatable for credit

PSYC 199: Undergraduate Research

Students undertake investigations sponsored by individual faculty members. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

Terms: Aut, Win, Spr, Sum | Units: 1-18 | Repeatable for credit

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