Fall 2019 - PSYC 388 D100

Biological Rhythms and Sleep (3)

Class Number: 9897

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    AQ 3153, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 14, 2019
    12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
    AQ 3003, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    PSYC 201 and 280.



Behavior and physiology are regulated by biological clocks, which function to synchronize the organism optimally with its environment. In this course we examine the adaptive role of clocks in animal behavior, the neural and endocrine mechanisms of daily, monthly and yearly rhythms, and the relevance of clocks, rhythms and sleep to human performance and psychopathology. We will also consider the mechanisms and functions of sleep states.


Core questions to be addressed include:
1.What is the evidence that biological clocks regulate human animal behaviour, how did such clocks evolve, and what are they good for?
2. How do we localize and study biological clocks?
3. How do biological clocks keep time?
4. How are biological clocks synchronized to the environment?   What is the nature of the species and individual differences that we recognize by distinguishing between nocturnal and diurnal animals, and between ‘early-bird’ and ‘night-owl’ people ?
5. Can biological clocks be ‘controlled’, e.g., by environmental behavioral or pharmacological stimuli? Can we turn night-owls into early birds, or make nightshift workers nocturnal ?
6.       How do biological clock regulate sleep-wake states and other brain functions?
7.       How do rhythms and sleep affect our ability to pay attention, learn and remember?
8.       What role do biological clocks and sleep play in mental and physical health and disease ?


  • Mid-Term Exam: 42%
  • Final Exam: 42%
  • Quizzes (2): 16%

Registrar Notes:

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