Skip to main content Link Search Menu Expand Document (external link)

Genetic Information for Behavior

COGS 169 - UC San Diego - Prof. Shannon Ellis

Fall 2023

CSB 003

TU & TH 9:30-10:50AM

Welcome 👋

We’re really excited to be teaching you all about genetics and what we know about its relation to behavior. All relevant info, e.g. due dates, assignment information, etc. are found on this website. We look forward to teaching and working with all of you and hope to meet you in office hours.

This is the first time Prof Ellis is teaching the course, so staff will be helping to try to keep enrollment reasonable. As such, unless many students drop the course, there will not be much enrollment off of the waitlist. That said, Prof does not have access to the waitlist or the ability to directly enroll anyone into the class, so please email cogsadvising@ucsd.edu with further questions.

Course Calendar

Week 0
Date Lecture Reading(s) Main Points Optional Reading(s) Assignment
Thu, Sep 28 00: Welcome!
Week 2
Date Lecture Reading(s) Main Points Optional Reading(s) Assignment
Tue, Oct 10 03: Genes, Variation, & Heritability Textbook: Ch 3.6-Summary; Ch 2.6-Summary MP03 Variants & Health RR03
Thu, Oct 12 04: Model Organisms Textbook: Ch 15-15.6; Ch 17-17.2 MP04 RR04
Week 3
Date Lecture Reading(s) Main Points Optional Reading(s) Assignment
Tue, Oct 17
Thu, Oct 19 05: Genetic Techniques Textbook: Ch 5; Ch 6; Ch 16-16.3 MP05 RR05
Week 4
Date Lecture Reading(s) Main Points Optional Reading(s) Assignment
Tue, Oct 24 Catch up Lecture No Reading Assignment
Thu, Oct 26 06: Epigenetics* Textbook: Ch 4; Epigenetic programming by maternal behavior MP06 RR06
Sun, Oct 29 Midterm Due
Week 5
Date Lecture Reading(s) Main Points Optional Reading(s) Assignment
Tue, Oct 31 06: Epigenetics (Day 2) No Reading Assignment
Thu, Nov 02 07: Sleep & Circadian Rhythms Textbook: Ch 17; TINS Fly Sleep MP07 Internal Wakeup Call; Circadian Rhythms & Sleep RR07
Fri, Nov 03 [Extra Credit] Mid-course survey
Week 6
Date Lecture Reading(s) Main Points Optional Reading(s) Assignment
Tue, Nov 07 08: Intelligence (Day 1) Textbook: Ch 12.1; Ch 9; Ch 16.4-16.7 MP08 Genetic Foundations of Intelligence RR08A
Thu, Nov 09 08: Intelligence (Day 2) Learning How a Fruit Fly Forgets; Breastfeeding and IQ (abstract and Fig 1) Genetic Foundations of Intelligence RR08B
Week 7
Date Lecture Reading(s) Main Points Optional Reading(s) Assignment
Tue, Nov 14 Project Proposal Due (template provided here; submit on Gradescope)
Tue, Nov 14 Catch up Lecture No Reading Assignment
Thu, Nov 16 09: Social Behavior Textbook: Ch 19; Ch 8; Fly Social Behavior Social behavior in ‘simple’ organisms; Social Attachment; Pair Bonding RR09
Week 8
Date Lecture Reading(s) Main Points Optional Reading(s) Assignment
Tue, Nov 21 Proposal Meetings
Thu, Nov 23 No Class (Thanksgiving!)
Week 10
Date Lecture Reading(s) Main Points Optional Reading(s) Assignment
Tue, Dec 05 13: Fear & Anxiety Textbook: Ch 10.3; BDNF Polymorphism and Anxiety (mice) MP13 GABA & Anxiety; BDNF & Learning; GWAS 2019 ; GWAS 2020 RR13
Thu, Dec 07 Student Presentations
Fri, Dec 08 Feedback for in-class presentations Final Report + Presentation Due
Week 11
Date Lecture Reading(s) Main Points Optional Reading(s) Assignment
Tue, Dec 12 Final Exam Study Guide Final Exam Due
Tue, Dec 12 [Extra Credit] Post-course survey