RM in Animal Research 215

This is a research methods course that provides an understanding of the different approaches to animal research, particularly those using rodent models. It provides students with an understanding of the different techniques employed by researchers and the questions they address. Students will also get a sense of how to design a behavioral experiment, including the use of control groups and counterbalancing. The course will follow a lecture/discussion format where students will learn about different forms of conditioning (operant/classical) and how these apply to various behavioral tasks such as autoshaping, self-administration, fear conditioning, etc. (see readings for more examples). This will be combined with regular class discussion of research articles dealing with each topic, including some of the earlier reports and more recent applications. The focus of the course will be on trying to prepare students to design and carry out behavioral/animal research in a laboratory setting.