Spring 2021 - PSYC 383 D100

Psychopharmacology (3)

Class Number: 2071

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 11:30 AM – 2:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 20, 2021
    3:30 PM – 6:30 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    PSYC 201 and 280.



A survey of how psychoactive drugs affect brain function to alter consciousness and behavior. Topics will include cellular effects of drugs that affect the central nervous system and discussions of the psychological and social effects of those drug-induced changes in the brain. Research on drug abuse and addictions and means of treating them will be covered. Historical, social and legal aspects of non-medical drug use will be discussed, as will the use of medications for the treatment of anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, dementias and other psychological disorders.


This course will be taught Asynchronously.

In this course we will explore the neurochemical components of brain function that underlie human perception, affect, cognition, and behaviour. We will also explore how psychotropic drugs influence the brain and behaviour.

Instructor: Evan Caldbick (ecaldbic@sfu.ca);

Office hours: online by appointment

Teaching Assistant: Nadja Jankovic (nadja_jankovic@sfu.ca)

Office hours: online by appointment


  • Weekly Canvas Quizzes: 24%
  • Assignment Outline: 6%
  • Midterm Exam: 25%
  • Written Assignment: 20%
  • Final exam: 25%


The midterm will cover material from weeks 1-6, the exam weeks 7-13. Anything discussed during the lectures or assigned as reading may be tested on the midterm and exam.

Midterm & Exam Format:

  • Short Answer Questions (5 marks each)
    • Midterm: 6 questions (from a provided list of 18)
    • Exam: 6 questions (from a provided list of 18)

Written Assignment:

  • Assignment Outline:
    • Write a single-page bullet point outline of the written assignment described below. In the outline (and written assignment) you will choose one of the topics listed below and provide an overall argument structure. Provide a separate brief (not necessarily thorough) list of references that you intend to use as support.
  • Written Assignment (APA format):
    • Write a 5-6-page paper on the topic of your outline.
  • Topics:
    • To be announced




Meyer, J.S. & Quenzer, L.F. (2019). Psychopharmacology: Drugs, the Brain, and Behavior 3e. Oxford University Press.

Purchasing option: https://www.redshelf.com/search/?terms=9781605355559

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 spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges 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. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).