PS 833 Advanced Physiological Psychology


Time: Mon 1-3 pm, 2 Cummington St., Rm. 100.

Instructor: Prof. Michael Hasselmo,

e-mail: (e-mail is the best way to contact me) Tel: 353-1397

Office hours: Friday 2-4 pm, Room 105E, 2 Cummington St.


Texts: Julien, R.M. (1997) A Primer of Drug Action (8th Edition). Available in book store under listing for PS333, or at internet book stores.

Hasselmo, M.E. (1999) Mechanisms of memory: Computational models of cortical memory function. Manuscript copies will be handed out.


Topic: Overview of neural circuits and neuromodulatory mechanisms involved in memory, sleep and behavioral disorders, with an emphasis on cellular mechanisms underlying behavior. In particular, we'll talk about specific mechanisms for EEG oscillations and their functional role, with an emphasis on theta rhythms in hippocampus and delta rhythms during slow-wave sleep. We'll discuss changes in modulatory state during sleep, including changes in acetylcholine, norepinephrine and serotonin during waking, slow-wave sleep and REM sleep. We'll discuss drugs which influence memory function and behavioral state.


Grading will be based on the following. Read these instructions carefully, because I will pay close attention to these guidelines when assigning grades.

1. Mid-term exam Essay questions covering material from course up to that point.

2. Student presentation. Prepare about 45 minutes. Rest of time period will be filled by questions. Presenter must read minimum of 5 articles, choosing 1 for presentation. Provide a handout to class containing a presentation outline of 2 pages exactly (no more, no less -- any photocopies from articles must be included in this length, but diagrams may be drawn on the board) and provide a list of full correct reference for the article being presented and the four background articles on a third page. (Reference list must include ALL authors, year, title, journal name, volume and start and end page numbers). Make the presentation accessible to audience, don't just summarize the article without showing understanding of it. Do background reading in order to understand the techniques and reasons for performing the project.

Suggested search words are provided for each topic. Best approach is to search on the internet using medline at the following address:

3. Project outline. Must turn in an outline of the project by Nov. 30, with 10 references (not all must be used in final paper, but you must list ten for project outline).

4. Final paper. In depth review of research on a specific focused topic. Yes, papers on the same topic as the presentation ARE allowed. Should have at least fifteen original research articles as citations (i.e. review articles are allowed, but will NOT count toward the number of fifteen original research articles). Cite them in text using the following format (Chrobak and Buzsaki, 1994; Fox et al., 1986). Do NOT cite them as footnotes. List full citation in bibliography (following above guidelines).

5. Class participation. Come to class with at least three SPECIFIC comments or questions about reading (example: Good comment: "I think this portion of figure 3 is wrong because the numbers don't match the numbers in the text." Overly vague comment: "I didn't understand anything in chapter 4"). Don't be afraid to make errors in comments or questions, as long as you've done the full reading.

Course outline:

Sept. 13 Course overview. Summary of neuromodulatory systems and mechanisms for cortical oscillations. Be sure to take notes, as this material will be tested.


Sept. 20 Acetylcholine and hippocampal consolidation. Julien, Appendix IV, pp. 503-521.

Hasselmo, M.E. (1999) Neuromodulation: Acetylcholine and memory consolidation. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 3: 351-359.


Sept. 27 Local memory circuits in hippocampus. Region CA3.

Hasselmo, M.E. (1999) Mechanisms of memory: Computational models of cortical memory function. Chapter 1 and portion of Chapter 3 up to discussion of region CA1.

Julien, pp. 370-374, pp. 525-528


Oct. 4 Theta rhythm and hippocampal function.

Mechanisms of memory. Chapter 3 sections on CA1, septum and whole network.


Oct. 18 Dopamine, sleep and memory function. Julien, Chapter 5.

Suggested search terms: cocaine and sleep, cocaine and memory, amphetamines and REM sleep, dopamine and sleep, schizophrenia and sleep, schizophrenia and memory.


Oct. 25 Mid-term exam.


Nov. 1 Benzodiazepine effects on episodic memory and theta rhythm. Julien, Chaps 2 and 4.

Search terms: benzodiazepine and theta and hippocampus, benzodiazepine and memory, benzodiazepine and free recall.


Nov. 8 Cholinergic blockade and memory function.

Mechanisms of memory. Chapter 3, section on whole network.

Search terms: Hasselmo and Wyble, Ghoneim and Mewaldt, Jensen and Lisman.


Nov. 15 Behavioral role of hippocampal place cells.

Mechanisms of memory. Chap. 4, Chap. 5 sections on CA3 and CA1.

Suggested search terms: Redish and Touretzky, Gerstner and Abbott, Blum and Abbott.


Nov. 29 Theta rhythm and hippocampal place cells.

Mechanisms of memory. Chapter 5 sections on septum and full network.

Search terms: Jensen and Lisman, Tsodyks and Skaggs, Wallenstein and Hasselmo.


Nov. 15-Dec. 3 Individual discussion of project outlines.



Dec. 6 Depression, anti-depressants, sleep and memory function. Julien Chapter 7.

Search terms: names of anti-depressants with sleep or memory as co-term.


Dec. 13 Opiates, theta rhythm and memory consolidation. Julien, Chapter 10.

Search terms: opioid and theta and hippocampus, opioid and memory, opioid and acetylcholine.