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Biology 261

Biology 261 Neuroscience of Exercise


An examination of research investigating how physical activity influences the brain.  Emphasis is placed on developing strategies for identifying, reading, analyzing, and communicating a variety of literature on the topic including reviews, basic research, government documents, clinical cases, public health studies, popular press reports, etc.  Oral communications and writing skills are also emphasized as ways to communicate scientific research with audiences of scientists & non-scientists.  Class meetings feature a wide variety of student-centered activities (presentations, discussions, small group work, etc).


Biology 111/113 and at least one other Biology course (or Chem 115)


  • Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by Ratey & Hagerman
  • Many scientific articles (accessible on the course's Moodle site)


This course is designed as first experience in reading & creating scientific literature.  Thus, enrollment is limited to sophomores and juniors who have completed no more than one upper level (200/300-level) biology course.