Behavioural Pharmacology

Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semesters 1-4

Typically offered in

Autumn/Spring semester

Course description

1. The role of internal, physiological procedures in the regulation of behaviour. (historical overview, conceptions, main types of physiological and ethological methods, evaluation of the results, interpreting results from a human or ecological point of virew.)

2. Behaviourally important and wellknown neurotransmitter systems. Models of brain control over behaviour. Anatomical and pharmacological approaches. Behavioural methods of studying brain functions.

3. Anxiety. Adaptive and pathological anxiety. Psychological, biological and pathological approaches. Brain mechanisms. Pharmacological interventions.

4. Depression. Decreasing behavioural activity, adaptation and pathology. Psychological and neurobiological theories of depression. Antidepressants.

5. Agression. Biological functions of aggression. Pathological aggression. Neurobiological models of aggression. Pharmacology of aggression.

6. Reproduction. Ethology and neurobiology of reproductive behaviour. Disrorders of reproductive behaviour.

7. Nutrition. Central regulation of food-intake. Nutrition-associated behavioural disorders.

8. Memory and learning. Important theories. Brain memory processe. Localisation and neurotransmitter systems.

9. The role and effects of the hormones in the regulation of behaviour. Hormon-neurotransmitter relationships. The role of melatonin in the daily and seasonal rhythms and in the social behaviour.

10 Effect of female sexual hormones on reproductive functions. Attractiveness, receptivity, maternal care, maternal aggression.

11. The role of testosterone in the regulation of sexual behaviour and aggression in males and females. Ontogenic and acute effects.

12. Effects of sress hormones (chatecolamines and corticosterone) on the animal behavioural reactivity and on the formation of behavioural strategy. Acute and chronic effects.

13. Relationships among illness sensitivity, stress-reactivity, and behavioural strategies. Stress, energy-metabolism and behaviour.

14. Less-known behavioural effects of petide hormones; adrenocorticotrop hormone, vasopressin. oxitocin, prolactin.

15. Physiology, behavioural endocrinology, neuroethology, behavioural pharmacology. Relationship among external and internal factors of the behaviour. A physiological model of the regulation of behaviour.

  • Nelson R.I. An introduction to behavioral endocrinology, Sinauer Associates, 2011, ISBN 9780878936205