Animal Minds: Comparative Neuroanatomy and Animal Behavior

Course Description

This course will introduce you to comparative neuroanatomy, sensory neuroscience, animal communication, social structure, and survival strategies. We will compare human and animal behavior and take a look at species-specific biological differences underlying sensory perception. Activities include short lectures, demonstrations, and virtual animal behavior studies. Moreover, we will discuss the scientific process, fundamentals of experimental design, and will introduce you to primary scientific literature. We will discuss how primary sources differ from textbook readings, and provide strategies for reading, interpreting, and analyzing journal articles. The course will end with a research project challenging you to describe what the world may be like from a specific animal’s perspective by generating an in-depth profile of a species’ behavior, sensory abilities, and survival strategies.

By the end of this course, you will be able to:
• Identify basic brain structures and sensory pathways
• Understand how biological differences alter sensory perception
• Differentiate between learned and innate behaviors
• Design experiments to evaluate aspects of animal behavior
• Unpack, interpret and analyze primary literature
• Recognize and appreciate the open-ended process of scientific research

Through this class, you will gain an appreciation of the intersection between neuroscience, psychology, and behavior in a variety of species.


There are no required prerequisites, but a background in biology and/or interest in neuroscience and animal behavior is advantageous.


One Section Available to Choose From:

Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.

Dates: June 27, 2022 - July 15, 2022
Duration: 3 Weeks
Meeting Times: Online Mostly Asynchronous
Status: Closed
Format: Online
Instructor(s): Megan Snell
Course Number: 10397