After completing this course, the student has:
Relation between assessment and objective
- obtained knowledge on the most important classes of psychoactive drugs and their clinical applications
- gained insight in general pharmacological principles, and the student can apply these insights to the area of psychopharmacology
- learned to look up and interpret properties of psychoactive medications
- gained sufficient knowledge to independently use sources of information used in the clinical practice on psychoactive medications
- learned to formulate a relevant question based on the studied reading and conduct a literature review to answer this question
The written exam consists of multiple choice questions through which knowledge is tested on pharmacological principles and working mechanisms of psychoactive drugs and their clinical applications. The assignments in the working groups are 1) looking up details on a particular drug using professional sources, and presenting these and answers to (study) questions in the work group (graded with pass or fail) and 2) a larger literature review assignment completed in groups of about 3 students that is graded on a 0-10 scale. The literature review assignment consists of formulating a question, conducting a literature review to answer this question, and presenting the results in a poster presentation and a written paper.
In neuroscience and psychology the biological approach to behavior and psychiatric disorders is of substantial importance. Over the last decades new classes of psychoactive drugs were developed for the treatment of disorders like depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. On a weekly basis, results of research on psychoactive drugs and psychopathology are reported in newspapers and on the internet. Further developments in neuroscience and fields like genetics hold the promise that progress in the discovery of new medications will become faster and more innovative. This course covers the most important classes of psychoactive substances (sedative-hypnotics, anxiolytics, stimulantia, anti-depressants and antipsychotics). In addition, the recreative use of drugs is discussed, and the principles of tolerance and possible dependence (addiction). Of all substances that are discussed attention is paid to the pharmacological properties, their working mechanisms, and if applicable their clinical application. The course is of interest to anyone who wants to be able to keep track of this dynamic field, who is interested in brain and behavior or who will be working in mental health care and with interdisciplinary treatment of psychological, psychiatric or somatic (e.g. pain medications) problems.|
The course will use literature that covers both the scientific backgrounds and the clinical applications.
Entry requirementsPrerequisite knowledge
Prerequisite knowledge can be obtained through
|Working knowledge of (functional) neuroanatomy, neurotransmitter systems, psychopathology.|
Private study materials
|'Brain and behaviour';'Biopsychosocial perspectives on psychopathology'.|
|Kalat (2007), Biological Psychology; Barlow & Durand (2005), Abnormal Psychology.||Required materials|
|Literature to be used will be announced on Blackboard.|Instructional formats
Class session preparationStudents can prepare for the lectures by reading the assigned chapters of the book. The material to be covered for the exams is summarized in a set of study questions for each lecture. These questions allow the student to actively prepare for the lecture, and to pose any questions that remain during the lecture.
Contribution to group workActive participation is encouraged during the lectures. Questions about the material discussed in the lectures are best asked at the lectures, or around that time on the Blackboard discussion board.
General remarksVia Blackboard smaller groups of students within a work group will be formed for working on the assignments. The results of the assignments will be presented in the work group sessions. Detailed instructions will be published on Blackboard.
Class session preparationTo prepare the presentations in the work groups and the reporting of assignments (through a poster presentation and a paper), the smaller groups come together at their own initiative. Within the groups, the work plan is made and individual contributions planned. In a work group at the end of the course the groups present a poster on the literature study they conducted.
Contribution to group workBesides the work groups that are planned in Osiris the smaller groups come together to work on the assignments with a frequency that they see fit. Because the assignments are made and marked as a group, it is important to adhere to agreements you make with your group about how you work together.
AssessmentThe minimum grade is 5,5 for both the exam and the assignments.
Aspects of student academic development
| • Writing skills (general) - preparing, writing, rewriting and finishing various texts • Presentations - preparation, execution and evaluation of lectures and defences |
AssessmentThe written exam at the end covers all material in the required reading and the lectures.
Aspects of student academic development
| • Information study and analysis • Synthesizing and structuring of information • Scientific context • Working with scientific equipment - subject-oriented |