Fall 2021 - PSYC 386 D100

Laboratory in Behavioural Neuroscience (4)

Class Number: 2672

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    RCB 6152, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 19, 2021
    3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
    WMC 2220, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    John Joseph McDonald
    1 778 782-9802
  • Prerequisites:

    PSYC 201 and 280.



An overview of techniques used for studying the biological basis of behaviour in humans and animals. Examines the logic and limitations of specific research methods. Provides an opportunity to master a set of techniques and to conduct supervised research projects in the laboratory.


Lectures will be remote and asynchronous but scheduled meeting times will be used for tests when needed. Labs will be held remotely during the scheduled meeting times.

Psyc 386/925
This course focuses on noninvasive techniques for studying the biological basis of behaviour in humans. Specifically, it takes an in-depth look at the theory and methods of recording electrical brain activity to study human cognition. Emphasis will be placed on the electroencephalographic (EEG) and event-related potential (ERP) techniques, but we will also introduce the magnetoencphalographic (MEG) technique. If you have ever seen medical shows on TV, you have probably seen ‘fake’ EEG. You will learn the real thing in this course. The format includes lectures (in person as well as lecture screencasts available on canvas) and laboratory work (hands-on EEG recording, if possible; EEG data analysis).


In this course, students will learn how to record EEG, to understand good recording practices, to understand event-related potentials (ERPs), and to learn how to think critically about ERP research.


  • Quizzes: 30%
  • Assignments: 20%
  • Exam: 30%
  • Final Assignment: 20%



Textbook: Luck, Steven, J. (2014). An introduction to the event-related potential technique (second edition). MIT press



Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.