COURSE OUTLINE: BS3019

Course Title

Neuropsychology of Stress and Resilience

Course Code

BS3019

Offered Study Year 3, Semester 2
Course Coordinator Rupshi, Mitra (Asst Prof) RMitra@ntu.edu.sg 6513 8043
Pre-requisites None
No of AUs 3
Contact hours Tutorials: 26, Lectures: 13
Approved for delivery from AY 2018/19, semester 1
Last revised 19 Oct 2018, 09:25

Course Aims

This course aims to provide a comprehensive knowledge of the neural and hormonal basis of stress-related behaviors. You will also gain an understanding of the relationship between stress and neuropsychological disorders. You will learn to delineate biological pathways underlying stress coping and resilience. At the end of this course, you will assess your learning and explore the potential of the applications in day-to-day situations.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Upon successfully completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Generate comparative analysis of feedback mechanisms in stress biology.
  2. Discuss stress resilience in context of neuroendocrine mechanisms.
  3. Analyze psychological factors affecting resilience and coping with the stress.
  4. Generate cross-species analysis of stress and resilience in rodents and primates.
  5. Form cohesive teams to discuss case studies relevant to stress and resilience.
  6. Conduct independent review of the scientific literature.

Course Content

Keywords in the stress physiology.

Landscape of the stress physiology.

Homeostasis in the regulation of the stress.

Expansion on the homeostasis.

Case studies relevant to the stress homeostasis.

Cardiovascular and Metabolic consequences of the stress.

Physiologic burden of the homeostasis in context of cardiovascular and metabolic health.

Case studies relevant to the allostasis and allostatic load.

Cognitive and emotional consequences of the stress.

Resilience in face of the traumatic or chronic stressors.

Case studies relevant to the psychological relevance.

Role of acivity and exercise on cognition.

Synthesis and Capstone.

Assessment

Component Course ILOs tested SBS Graduate Attributes tested Weighting Team / Individual Assessment Rubrics
Continuous Assessment
Activities 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 1. c, d
2. a, e, f
3. a, d, f, g
4. c
5. c, d, e
7. a, c
10 individual See Appendix for rubric
Essay 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 1. c, d
2. a, e, f
3. f, g
4. c
5. a, b, c, d, e
6. a, b, c
7. a, c
45 both See Appendix for rubric
Multiple Choice Questions 1, 2, 3, 4 1. c, d
2. e
5. b
30 both
Short Answer Questions 1, 2, 3, 4 1. c, d
2. a, e
3. f
5. c, d, e
7. a
15 individual See Appendix for rubric
Total 100%

These are the relevant SBS Graduate Attributes.

1. Recognize the relationship and complexity between structure and function of all forms of life, resulting from an academically rigorous in-depth understanding of biological concepts

c. Explain the relationship between structure and function of all forms of life at the cellular level

d. Explain the relationship between structure and function of all forms of life at the organism level

2. Critically evaluate and analyze biological information by applying the knowledge, scientific methods and technical skills associated with the discipline

a. Identify the assumptions behind scientific problems and issues

e. Analyze the validity of qualitative and quantitative scientific data

f. Evaluate results in primary biological literature

3. Develop and communicate biological ideas and concepts relevant in everyday life for the benefit of society

a. Simplify and explain scientific concepts and results of experiments to a non-biologist (avoiding jargon)

d. Explain the role of peer review in science as a quality control mechanism

f. Demonstrate an understanding of the social and natural context of knowledge (role of science in society, influence of society on science)

g. Demonstrate an understanding of the history of ideas and development of the major fields of biology

4. Acquire transferable and entrepreneurial skills for career development

c. Demonstrate a flair for conducting research

5. Develop communication, creative and critical thinking skills for life-long learning

a. Learn independently and then share that knowledge with others

b. Learn collaboratively and be willing to share expertise with peers

c. Demonstrate critical thinking skills such as analysis, discrimination, logical reasoning, prediction and transforming knowledge

d. Question the assumptions, sources, and contexts of scientific investigation

e. Demonstrate good observation skills and a curiosity about the world

6. Develop codes of social responsibility and scientific ethics, particularly in relation to biological advancement and applications

a. Debate the ethical implications of scientific processes and results

b. Design human or animal experiments that do not cause harm

c. Respect regulations involving plagiarism and copyright

7. Demonstrate information literacy and technological fluency

a. Locate and evaluate information needed to make decisions, solve problems, design experiments, and understand scientific data

c. Evaluate and use biological databases (literature and public datasets)

Formative Feedback

Formative feedback will be provided using two different channels.
Firstly, instructor will design case studies that will be conducted in collaboration with the student's teams in the class. Teams and individual students will provide written statements during these case studies. The instructor will provide continual feedback on the student work in the class during these times.
Secondly, the instructor will provide feedback on each essay and short-answer assessments submitted through the online portal.

Learning and Teaching Approach

Tutorials
(26 hours)

In 3 of the 13 weeks, you will collaborate with your teammates and the instructor to clarify issues and identify themes or challenges relevant to the lecture material. For 3 of the 13 weeks, we will collaboratively work in teams on progressive case studies specially designed for the material in the preceding sessions. We will conduct literature research in the class and collaboratively evaluate competing hypotheses. These exercises will also help set the stage for essay type evaluations. Lastly, for two weeks, in the end, we will conduct a practical test to examine our assumptions, working in teams and evaluating collected evidence.

Lectures
(13 hours)

The intent of the lecture portion of each session is to introduce new concepts and theoretical background.

Reading and References

Title: Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers.
Author: Robert Sapolsky.
Paperback: 560 pages
Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; 3rd edition (September 15, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0805073698
ISBN-13: 978-0805073690

Course Policies and Student Responsibilities

1. Class activities in this course require you to participate in the group work.
2. You will be assigned reading material of around one hour each week, on an average.
3. Continual assessment in this course includes in-class quizzes and group work. You will need to be present for these.
4. Please read through the following plagiarism policy and respect it.

Academic Integrity

Good academic work depends on honesty and ethical behaviour. The quality of your work as a student relies on adhering to the principles of academic integrity and to the NTU Honour Code, a set of values shared by the whole university community. Truth, Trust and Justice are at the core of NTU’s shared values.

As a student, it is important that you recognize your responsibilities in understanding and applying the principles of academic integrity in all the work you do at NTU. Not knowing what is involved in maintaining academic integrity does not excuse academic dishonesty. You need to actively equip yourself with strategies to avoid all forms of academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, academic fraud, collusion and cheating. If you are uncertain of the definitions of any of these terms, you should go to the Academic Integrity website for more information. Consult your instructor(s) if you need any clarification about the requirements of academic integrity in the course.

Course Instructors

Instructor Office Location Phone Email
Rupshi, Mitra (Asst Prof) 02n-09 6513 8043 RMitra@ntu.edu.sg

Planned Weekly Schedule

Week Topic Course ILO Readings/ Activities
1

Keywords in the stress physiology.

3, 4, 6

Introductory lecture.

2

Landscape of the stress physiology.

1

Introductory lecture.

3

Homeostasis in the regulation of the stress.

1, 2, 4

Lecture interspersed with discussion.

4

Expansion on the homeostasis.

1, 2, 4, 5

Tutorials; MCQs; Group-work.

5

Case studies relevant to the stress homeostasis.

2, 4, 5, 6

Case studies.

6

Cardiovascular and Metabolic consequences of the stress.

1, 2, 3, 4

Lecture interspersed with discussion.

7

Physiologic burden of the homeostasis in context of cardiovascular and metabolic health.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Tutorials; MCQs; Group-work.

8

Case studies relevant to the allostasis and allostatic load.

2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Case studies.

9

Cognitive and emotional consequences of the stress.

1, 2, 3, 4

Lecture interspersed with discussion.

10

Resilience in face of the traumatic or chronic stressors.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Tutorials; MCQs; Group-work.

11

Case studies relevant to the psychological relevance.

2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Case studies.

12

Role of activity and exercise on cognition.

2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Tutorials and Group-work.

13

Synthesis and Capstone.

2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Tutorials and Group-work.

Appendix 1: Assessment Rubrics

Rubric for Continuous Assessment: Activities (10%)

In this assessment, you need to identify a topic, chosen from a list provided to the whole class. You would be then required to provide your reflections and opinions. These should be expressed in the context of the current state of the research, their application to practical issues and future challenges. Total marks will be scaled to 10%.

Criteria

Mark of the Excellence

Marks

Content

Clear and specific central idea is present. Concrete details are well developed along the central idea. Practical examples enhanced context.

5

Organization

Essay is well-organized with clear Introduction, detail, and conclusion. Critical and independent thinking is evident.

5

Research and schematics

Good evidence of research and citations. Schematics are well-developed and helps guide writing.

5

Style and writing

Good clear writing which can be easily followed. Good choice of words, sentence-construction and correct use of spelling/grammar

5
Total 20

Rubric for Continuous Assessment: Essay (45%)

In this assessment, you need to provide an expositionary answer to questions posted on the course website. Total marks will be scaled to 45%.

Criteria

Mark of the Excellence

Marks

Content

Clear and specific central idea is present. Concrete details are well developed along the central idea. Practical examples enhanced context.

5

Organization

Essay is well-organized with clear Introduction, detail, and conclusion. Critical and independent thinking is evident.

5

Research and schematics

Good evidence of research and citations. Schematics are well-developed and helps guide writing.

5

Style and writing

Good clear writing which can be easily followed. Good choice of words, sentence-construction and correct use of spelling/grammar

5
Total 20

Rubric for Continuous Assessment: Short Answer Questions (15%)

In this assessment, you need to provide the short answer, no more than one paragraph, to descriptive questions posted at the course website. Total marks will be scaled to 15%.

Criteria

Mark of the Excellence

Marks

Definition and support

Well defined idea with a clear focus in writing. Good supportive evidence and practical example if applicable.

5

Organization

Chronologically organized writing. The contextual purpose is well developed. Good writing.

5

Style and writing

Good clear writing which can be easily followed. Good choice of words, sentence-construction and correct use of spelling/grammar

5
Total 15

Appendix 2: Intended Affective Outcomes

As a result of this course, it is expected you will develop the following "big picture" attributes:

Appreciate role of the stress in health and disease.

Apply knowledge of the stress physiology for lifestyle modifications.

Develop willingness to work in teams.

Develop creative and innovative writing style on subject of interest