This graduate seminar is based on the RCGD winter 2005 seminar series entitled, Social neuroscience and human relationships: How social experience influences the evolved brain and vice versa. This series will be co-sponsored by the Evolution and Human Adaptation Program (EHAP), and has been organized by Stephanie Brown, Jennifer Glass, and Randolph Nesse. Students in this seminar will have extensive opportunities to talk with the visiting and local speakers, in addition to attending the lectures and discussing readings provided by the speakers.
Over twenty years of research have demonstrated that interpersonal relationships have profound effects on health and well-being. The search for mechanisms that link social contact to health has stimulated an explosion of research that spans social psychology, health psychology, physiology, and evolutionary biology. In this course, we will examine interpersonal relations and we will ask whether these factors influence, or are influenced by, physiological processes (hormonal, immunological, cardiovascular) and health outcomes such as stress and depression. Because scholars are just beginning to examine and understand this topic through cutting-edge interdisciplinary research, this class offers a unique opportunity for students to be exposed to a developing field, in need of conceptual refinement, organization, and creative insight. Understanding the mechanisms and processes through which interpersonal relations affect physiological functioning and behavior promises to generate important theoretical questions and directions for future research.
This seminar will include both lectures by outside speakers (Mondays 3:30-5:00, 6050 ISR) and a seminar meeting (Mondays 5:00-6:30, 6080 ISR) with the speakers whenever possible. Readings for each week will be based on that week’s topic. The lectures are a part of the Winter Term RCGD lecture series, co-sponsored with EHAP.
Students will be required to provide a weekly 1-2 page single-spaced written commentary, describing their reactions to the readings (e.g., critiques, questions, directions for future research, integration with other readings and/or presentations). Commentaries will be due on each Friday prior to the class meeting. Grading criteria will be based on the following:
Written commentaries = 75%
Class participation = 25%
Students may miss 1 commentary without penalty.
EHAP lectures are open to the public. Unless otherwise noted, they are scheduled from 9:00 am to 10:30 am every Friday. Lectures for the special seminar series on Social Neuroscience and Human Relationships are scheduled from 3:30 pm to 5 pm in the Institute for Social Research (ISR), room 6050 (see Current Lecture Series for details). The graduate seminar, "Human relationships, evolution, and social neuroscience," is intended primarily for Culture and Cognition students and EHAP affiliated students who are taking the seminar for credit. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.