course
Mind, Brain, and Behavior

Aug 2018

Take this class only if you like to seat in an EMPTY (for once lol) Schermerhorn 501 lecture. No difficulty in finding seats! HOORAY! The class's enrolment is about 100 students, but only about say 50 students attend lectures after the first few weeks. Why? To put it simply, some find that she delivers her lectures with little enthusiasm. What's more, she barely adds on to her slides as she tends to read off from her slides (which are posted before lectures, props to Aly for doing something right) at a bullet train speed. I found taking Aly's class really frustrating as she almost always ends her class about 10 to 15 minutes - why not use the time to go at a slower rate/expound on the material a little more?? There were 3 exams (2 midterms: 25% each & final: 50%), each comprising of multiple choice, fill-in and short answer questions. The multiple choice & short answer questions are more application type of questions while the fill-ins were plugging in bolded keywords from her slides. You really have to put in the effort to study for the exams, given that there's a shit ton of new information/keywords in each lecture. The 1st midterm was bombed by the class - average was a 78% & median was a 81% iirc. Aly insisted that she will not curve the test given that a few scored 97; she will only curve if the top score is say a 90. The 2nd midterm was slightly better - median was ~83%ish. Before the final, she miraculously decided to give hints during the review lecture about what the short answer questions were going to be on. She said she was going to curve the final grade (by adding X% to everyone's final grade such that the top score was a 100%). Guessing the complains about the grading from those pre-meds got to her? Ultimately, she gave a 6% curve on the final grade (3% to curve the top score to a 100% & 3% because she felt nice).

May 2018

Prof. Aly is awesome! I say that for a few reasons. First, you can tell that she really cares about people actually doing well in the class and engaging with the material. She loves questions during lecture (even if she sometimes can't answer ones from outside her specialty. Can't fault her for that at all). She reserves a class before each test for a review session guided by discussion board questions (she will NOT just do an overview - you must ask questions. The more you engage, the more you get out). Second, she's actually a very nice person outside of class. I went to office hours a few times to discuss the Honors program in the Psych department and her lab's work. She loved to discuss it, and it's really quite interesting. This was her first semester teaching the class and I have to say "Congrats!" because she excelled with the material she was teaching for the first time. Especially in the memory lectures (what her research focuses on), she gives good explanations of the concepts presented in class. I know this isn't really of consequence but I'll say it anyways. I think Prof. Aly is kinda quirky, and I really liked it about her. She just has this focused, busy scientist vibe about her that's really endearing. The class is curved (difference between highest overall grade and 100% is added to everyone's score at the end of the course). Research participation can earn you up to 3 full points of extra credit. Seems beyond fair to me. Vis-à-vis the content of the course: it's not really up to her, because the department sets the priorities for the intro classes. This is NOT an easy science requirement by any means. But it is required for N&B majors and fulfills a req for psych majors as well. I know as a psych major I'm biased, but this class seemed pretty worthwhile, even if it is mostly memorization. Once you get about halfway through the semester there are more conceptual connections you can make (e.g., lateral areas are usually geared towards external motivation and action). That doesn't mean it gets easier; the material just becomes more easily integrated with what you've already learned. Tl;dr: Mariam Aly rocks, don't take this class just to fulfill a Core req, do start studying long before the tests actually happen.

Dec 2017

super nice!provides great slides and explains everything clearly. sometimes goes fast but not to bad

Dec 2016

Do not take this class. Taylor is a terrible lecturer, her test are ridiculously hard and requires a lot of useless memorization, and she is very unaccommodating to any requests. Her lectures are just reading off of old reused power points, and are extremely boring, especially being at night class. Although you can drop the lowest test, they are all unfairly graded because she makes the rubric overly specific so that partial points are hard to come by. She requires you to remember hundreds of terms that serve no purpose other than to just to make your life more difficult. She is very unapproachable and makes any special requests seem like the end of the world. She tries to make jokes in class that aren't funny. This is basically an extended, more boring, more annoying version of the neuroscience section of FroSci.

Dec 2016

Just wanted to throw this out to help out my future columbia lions that are thinking about taking this class. I repeat this is the easiest and most interesting class I have every taken at Columbia....... PAUSE NOTTTTTTT..... This class absolutely sucks. Kathleen may be the most cold hearted, un-funny, and pretentious teacher (I don't even want to call her a professor because it would be a shame to all of the other professors in the world) I have ever met in my life. The lectures could not be more boring.... absolutely brutal. This class was at 7:10pm and I tell you what, I think I learn more useful information watching grass grow or paint dry than I do in this class. The lecture are basically her reading of a powerpoint and the learning aspect is pretty much you just learning vocab words along with memorizing different regions of the brain. Midterms are useless, she overloads information to where it half way drives you crazy. She has way too many strict guidelines and does not accommodate to any student needs.

Jun 2015

Having Prof. Shohamy as my Mind, Brain, and Behavior professor was a good experience. She is a good lecturer and she clearly knows her subject material. To succeed in her class, go to every lecture and take good notes on what she says. Her powerpoints are often sparse, so be sure to listen to her vocal explanations. As Prof. Shohamy says, you don't actually need to read the textbook to succeed in her class. If you take good notes, then everything she says is all you'll need for the exams. If you don't understand a concept or a particular graph in her slides, then you can always find it in the book chapters. Overall, a non-stressful class. She usually finishes her lectures 10-15 minutes early too, so that's also nice. There are plenty of extra credit opportunities, so take advantage of them! I find that her guest lecturers (often TA's or other researchers) are often more confusing than she is, but still manageable.

Mar 2015

I didn't find the negative comments about Dr Shohamy below substantiated in the slightest. My perspective is that of an engineer and premed taking this class. I took MBB to fulfill the premed psych requirement while learning about the biological aspect of psych (i.e., none of the dodgy handwavy psychology of Science of Psych). I don't understand the people who say she's awful and goes too fast. I would say my experience has been on the whole positive. Professor Shohamy is quite a good lecturer (again coming from a hard sciences+engineering background). She seems genuinely passionate about the subject and lectures clearly and compellingly, often using interesting videos, graphics, and recent culture (i.e., memes and viral phenomena) to make her points. The material is very interesting, though I don't understand why she doesn't just call the class Intro Cognitive Neuroscience. We learn about the brain and techniques in psychological experimentation to understand how it works, starting from the structure of a neuron. My one complaint is that the amount of material presented is low; the information density of the course is such that one could get 100% of the material attending half the lectures and doing no outside studying or reading. One think that did take me aback was the sheer number of random questions asked in class. The number of times someone began a question or comment with "Once my mom..." or "I have this aunt who...", etc. (followed by a completely unrelated anecdote or crackpot theory) was staggering. The class almost becomes the clearinghouse for every random curiosity about psychology and neuroscience that any liberal arts major who otherwise would never interact with a real scientist could have. Mostly being facetious but I suspect a large subpopulation of the class are only there to fulfill the science requirement.

Jan 2015

Mobbs is the man! Lecture is very engaging, light-hearted and exciting. Being from the psychology field, Mobbs knows different tactics to use to keep you interested in the already interesting subject matter. He uses videos, pop culture references, gags in his powerpoints, etc. He's really laid back and nice. Barely any workload, no homework.

Dec 2014

This was a good class to take for my science requirement. Having already taken Science of Psych, I felt prepared enough to understand the general premise of most of what Dean was talking about. He tended to go really fast through material, but he was generally clear in his presentation of it. Some of the lectures were a little dry, but Dean always made an effort to include humorous slides and jokes in his presentations to make it a little more fun for us. His English accent also made everything infinitely better. I didn’t do any of the readings from the textbook and didn’t find them necessary to do well in the class. Everyone was always surprised by how well they did on the midterms—on one of them, the average was 93%. So on the whole, not that much work at all in this class; just keeping up with the lectures and memorizing the material before the exams sufficed to get you a good grade.

Feb 2014

Excellent course. Professor Mobbs strives to make every lecture as enjoyable and interesting as possible. He is sincerely committed to passing on his passion for his work to his students, but also understands that most of the students in MBB aren't highly knowledgeable, and adjusts the difficulty of the material accordingly. He's a naturally engaging lecturer and is great to talk to after class. The only potential sticking point is that at times, it seemed like a lot of the review for MT's and Finals constituted of memorizing the functions of particular brain areas or the findings of particular experiments. But if you're good at making flash cards, it should be no problem. Enjoy.

Apr 2013

This is such a great class!! I HIGHLY recommend it. Professor Mobbs posts up all his slides and makes learning the material fun. He is engaging, funny, and super organized. You don't need to read the textbook even though it is good background, but definitely remember the info on the slides. Exams are cumulative, but if you study in time and divide the work appropriately you will be fine. He and the TA's are really accessible. Like I said before the info was very interesting so I enjoyed studying for his exams. They are not harsh and completely fair.

Feb 2013

She is a nice girl but she is totally unexperienced. I did not learn anything from her, only from the book. She tries really hard to prepare the classes, but they turn really boring. Also, she makes up the questions to some of the answers in class. She is more of a graduate student than a teacher and the department should have trained her before. I felt she was just waiting for the opportunity to tell us about the thesis project. In summary, she is OK, but if you are serious about this class, choose a more experience teacher

Nov 2012

Mind, Brain, and Behavior was a great class. Professor Mobbs made the class enjoyable. He definitely has a great sense of humor and he tries to incorporate it into the lectures. He is super organized. He post up his slides on coursework's AFTER class, I'm guessing he does this because he wants students to actually attend lecture. Attendance is important because he might throw in a question about something said in his lectures in the exams. There were a lot of articles, but most were very interesting and skimming was plausible. Neuroscience and Psych majors would love this class! The exams were not hard. The info on them were mostly from his slides, which was nice because his slides are really straight forward. I would pay more attention on reading the articles than the chapters in the book, but still read at everything! He has done a lot of experiments in the UK and California, make sure you actually know what they are, the procedures, and outcomes because these are some questions that show up on exams. He has lots of TA's and they are all helpful and smart so definitely meet with them. Great class, you'll learn a lot of cool shit!

Jul 2012

This lady is seriously the best. I took Mind, Brain and Behavior with her over the summer. They've considered making that course run 9 weeks instead of 6 because there's so much information (and 6:15-9:25pm classes over the summer are not the most conducive to information absorption), but she makes it work. She's engaging and CLEAR and her pacing is perfect -- she goes at just the right speed and always knows when to stop with the information blast for an anecdote or to talk about a study so you can catch your breath. I am NOT a science person but this class was totally manageable because she is just SO good at teaching. Simple as that. I have had a ton of teachers at Columbia University over three different degrees/programs, and she is easily one of the top three best teachers I've had. Seriously, if you need to take this class, take it with her. Even if you don't need to take it!

May 2012

I wholly disagree with the review below: Prof Buhle presents all of the material coherently, encourages responses from the class and fields questions thoughtfully, and is generally personable and enthusiastic. Some of the material may be redundant for Neuroscience/Psychology majors (particularly those who have already taken Science of Psychology), but this is no indictment of Prof Buhle's teaching ability. In any case, if the lectures bore you, you need not wake up for them; attendence is not taken (unlike in some Science of Psychology courses) and there are no assignments that must be turned in. On the other hand, if you are struggling with the class, there is plenty of opportunity for extra credit (in the form of weekly online quizzes and experiment participation) and you can engage in the ungraded "self-check" review quizzes that are presented at the beginning of lectures. Indeed, with his attention to student understanding of the material (at the macro as well as micro level) Prof Buhle makes a 100-200 student lecture seem much smaller.

May 2012

Overall, I was pretty happy with this course. Professor Buhle is a solid professor who does his best to present the material concisely and effectively. Although going to lecture is not an absolute necessity, I would ultimately say that it helps because some of the material is not easy to learn by yourself from the book. First of all, the book is not the greatest for a variety of reasons, but mostly because the figures are often confusing and sometimes downright useless. Second of all, Prof. Buhle really does a nice job extracting the key points from each chapter and simplifying the material so that it was clear to understand. He also always used "alternative" teaching methods, such as having no-points check-in quizzes at the start of class to jog everyone's memory. My only gripe with this is that the check-in quizzes actually ended up wasting a lot of class time. Class started at 9:10, and it would often get until 9:30, and we still would not have actually started the lecture yet, but would still be doing the quiz. However, I did appreciate his effort to implement these quizzes, and I think they were effective and helpful on the whole. My recommendation for the future would be for him to continue having the quizzes, but less often so that less class time is wasted (towards the end of the semester we had them almost every lecture). Regarding the grading: I guess I should start by saying that I received an A+, but so did 26 other people out of 146 total students, so it's not that impressive (these numbers are 100% real because Prof. Buhle sent out the final grade distribution to everyone). So it's clear that a ton of people, including me, did very, very well, and I am admittedly a little biased when I say that it was pretty darn easy to get a good grade in this class. Exam 1 was really easy and Exam 2 and the final, while they were harder, were not that bad (Exam 2 had a generous curve as well, and I'm sure the final was curved too). That being said, OH MY GOD THE EXAMS (#2 and the final) COVER SO MUCH MATERIAL. Over the course of the semester, I spent on average about 1-3 hours studying for this class each week (basically just doing the extra credit self-tests), which is pretty low, but I spent hoursssss studying the days before the exams. Exam 1 is fine (and easy), but the problem is that exam 2 covered like 15 chapters or something, which is kind of a lot, and the final is cumulative (covered like 30 chapters!). It was just a lot of painful memorization. I almost wish we had had an additional midterm, because that would have prevented Exam 2 from covering that ridiculous amount of material. It also would have meant that the grading rubric would be a tiny bit more forgiving for people who unfortunately screw up one exam. The course had Exam 1 worth 20%, Exam 2 30% and the final 50%, so an additional midterm in there could have maybe meant that the final could be weighted less, or that a midterm could be dropped or something. I guess it ultimately didn't really matter, though, because soooo many people did so well anyways. Like I said, Prof. Buhle sent the grade breakdown out, and a ridiculous % of people got A+, A, and A-'s. I think I remember that nearly 60% got in the A range. At the same time, as with any science class, there was a huge range, and people also did very poorly (4 people failed). But Prof. Buhle reallllllyyy gives you every opportunity to get a good grade. I mean REALLY. Not only did he give a generous curve when the grades on Exam 2 were low, there was also ridiculous amount of extra credit available (experiment participation, courseworks self tests). He even gave us one point of extra credit on our final for filling out our courseworks evaluations. He clearly was not out to fail anyone (as evidenced by the fact that 27 people got A+'s, and many, many more got A's and A-'s). I feel bad for the people who failed...but come on...he gave everyone so much extra opportunity to do well! I would definitely recommend this class, especially to someone who is confident with his/her ability to memorize a large amount of material -- you'll probably do extremely well. However, it isn't the best class to take if you're just looking to satisfy the science requirement or if you are not good with rapidly memorizing and cramming -- you might not (probably won't) do well. Summary: The information was generally interesting, I personally found it relatively easy to get a really good grade, and the professor is enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and effective. I really appreciate Prof. Buhle's level of engagement with the students. Out of all the professors I've had so far at Columbia, he is definitely the one who most actively engaged the students outside of class. He was always sending us e-mails with helpful updates (such as the fore-mentioned grading breakdown), and everyone could tell that he was just so genuinely passionate and willing to help students. He made pleas at the start of almost every lecture asking students to come to office hours -- he really was just so eager to help. I regret never going to his office hours because he seems like such a nice guy. Random note: Prof. Buhle kinda looks like James Franco, am I right??? Kinda sorta maybe? Not bad...not bad at all. Hope I'm not just crazy.

May 2012

Really, really boring. I don't have much else to say about the class. Took one of my favorite subjects and made it almost impossible to stay awake for. The guest lecturers are wonderful (Jen, Heather, etc.), but other than that, a sleepy way to start my mornings (and at 9AM no less). I guess the class is required for the neuroscience major, and the tests aren't incredibly difficult (he gives A+'s, which is nice), so it could be worse I suppose.

May 2011

Really nice and solid professor that explains the material pretty well, even for those just trying to complete their science requirement. However, there is a lot of memorizing that accompanies this class, as the exams are pretty simple questions involving fill in the blank key terms, multiple choice, and true/false. Buying the book is pointless as long as you write down what he says in class about the different images/pictures that are shown in the powerpoints, because these always come back to the test. ie, write down what a graph tells you, what the image is of, or the experiment's design/conclusion.

May 2011

I wouldn't go so far as to give the rave review the past reviewer gave, but I would agree that Dr. K is probably one of the nicest, most caring professors that I have had at Columbia. He really does care about all of the students in the class doing well in the class and enjoying the class. The slides of the class that Dr. K puts together are extremely helpful... you don't even have to read the textbook. With that said, there's only so much you could do about the VERY dry material. Yes, Dr. K has a few funny anecdotes during class that he'll sometimes tell, but for a lot of people, that's not enough from keeping one from dozing off. Quite honestly, you could probably skip class, just read the slides, and still get away with getting an A (I did...). Maybe I'm just not that into anatomy, but the subject matter of the class is A LOT drier than that of Science of Psych, just because so much of this is based on anatomy. If you're an engineer looking for a non-tech or a CC student looking to fulfill a science requirement, you should definitely take Science of Psych over this.

May 2011

An excellent course. Dr. K clearly wants his students to succeed. Lectures are all pretty standard powerpoint presentations, but he explains all of terms and concepts clearly and posts slides on courseworks before and after lecture. Answers emails promptly and always has TAs offer review sessions before every exam. Attendance isn't taken, but it's easy to get lost if you don't show up for the lectures. Don't let the subject matter intimidate you: yes, it's technically neuroscience, but he makes it learnable, interesting, and (relatively) easy to understand. Altogether one of the best classes I've taken at Columbia.

Jan 2011

The review below is 100% spot on. Professor Shohamy often seemed to get tripped up on her own slides which was very strange. The final being scheduled for the last day of class was ridiculous. In my eyes, the only reason for this is to extend vacation time. I signed up for the class knowing full well that finals week was the week before Christmas and taking it before that designated time was unreal. As the previous poster said, it was a ridiculous amount of material that we should have had another week to study for. It seems odd that Columbia has a designated finals week that professors don't have to follow. Lastly, if you take this class you will quickly realize the review sessions are a big waste of time. Go to the first one, and you'll realize your time will be better spent studying on your own.

Dec 2010

It is without a doubt that Prof. Shohamy is a nice woman; however, this does not make up for the fact that she cannot teach. This is quite possibly the worst class I have ever taken. Not only are the lectures boring and impossible to keep up with since she speeds through them, but also, it is impossible to get proper help from the TA s before exams. They are too concerned with their own lives and when we asked them a question about something from the review sheets, they would either respond with a "i cannot give you an answer to this because it may appear on the exam" or they would shuffle through the textbook to find an answer. This class has made me bitter about psychology as a whole and has killed my desire to even deal with any other psychology class. please, do not take this class it's just not worth your time and effort. During this semester, our exam was given on the last day of classes, meaning we had to try to study about 25 chapters of material within the span on 4 days, it just was not fair. You're better off filling your science requirement with a professor and TA s that actually care about your experience with the class material.

Dec 2010

Such a great and interesting class!!! Lectures were interesting, accessible and easy to follow. The syllabus is well structured and this class is designed for Psych majors and non-science students as well. Overall the work load is not demanding; simply go to class, take notes, read the text (optional), and do well on the exams. As long as you understood the bold terms and main ideas, the exam were not difficult (multiple choice and fill-ins key terms). It is not difficult to score in the A range in this class. Overall, Dr. K is a great lecturer and answer emails and questions promptly. Highly recommend this class for science requirement and psychology major! Take this class before it is not longer offered.

Jul 2010

I was unfortunate enough to register last minute for the summer course with Pr. Taylor. If you are like me not a science major and looking for a science req. then stay away from this course. Just to be fair, I have to admit the class and lectures were interesting but definitely required prior knowledge to neuroscience, biology and psychology. In general the load of memorization is humongous, but doable. What was disturbing about the class is professor Taylor''s attitude and disorganization. There were no office hours provided, no TA, and she would never answer the emails on time. She posted her lectures and study guides literally last minute claiming that she might have forgot to press the last button. The woman was clearly unorganized. Just her statement that she does not encourage arranging the meeting with her unless it is absolutely necessary says it all about her commitment to the class. I agree with the reviewers that she is indeed really passionate about her subject, but unless you are a science major you won't share her excitement. She is a really harsh grader and even if you know the material from the book, which by the way according to her is "not needed for the class" you won't get the proper grade. She is a big disappointment overall. Get out of that class no matter what, but if you absolutely have to take it then stick with the lectures and study guides, go to every class and if you can - record it. BAD IDEA TO GET SCIENCE REQUIREMENT FULFILLMENT

Mar 2010

Prof. Wiedenmayer was my favorite psychology professor at Columbia. His lectures were always clear, concise, and informative. He had the ability to relate even the most complicated topics to novice learners. Prof. Wiedenmayer had a gift for teaching, and he truly cared that his students learned and absorbed his lessons. His passion for the topic was always apparent, as his love for science and natural curiosity always shined through. In addition to his teaching, Prof. Wiedenmayer was a great mentor to his students. I took two classes with him, and I can say that he is largely responsible for opening my eyes to neuroscience. He will be greatly missed by many, but his legacy as a wonderful professor, a supportive mentor, and a kind and caring individual will live on through all of those fortunate enough to have known him. Thank you Prof. Wiedenmayer for all that you shared. I am truly grateful to have gotten to know you.

Mar 2010

He was one of the best professors that I ever had. May he rest in peace. I wanted to leave some comments from his friends and family so that he can be remembered not only as a professor at Columbia, but also as just a really great guy, and a real scholar. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Christoph was always the first to come to our parties and the always the first to leave, too. And he loved punk rock and new wave. Saw some legends like the Damned, Joey Ramone and Joe Strummer with him in NYC. RIP." Roman "I am still under shock and cannot believe that Christoph has passed away so quick. We were close friends since the beginning of the eighties and did a long way together. He was with me in the ups and down of life. I am so sad. Que la terre lui soit légère." Paul "It is very touching to read a lot of emotional reactions about Christoph… from students and friends at Columbia and N.Y. – and now we start joining you – as Paul from Switzerland has already done, now I – because we are sad and will miss a wonderful friend." Annette - Switzerland "Thank you all for your kind and wonderful words- soothing and saddening at the same time. We lost a brother and friend and godfather and son and we are hurting so much. I am happy and proud of him hearing that he was able to contribute and convey his passionate interest in science and neurobiology. He had so many incredible talents. As a zoologist he knew all about animals and drew fantastic sketches. As an avid reader he knew the literature from classics to post-modern. He was into arts and films and music and history and nature. Modest and playful with children. Caring and reliable. We miss him so much and I don’t know how to go on and fill this void. I hope the little seeds he planted will grow and flower. Mungu anajua yote." His sister Karin "Christoph was one of the best human beings I’ve ever met, and set standards for the rest of my life. I loved his sharp intelligence and his acceptance of others (even when seeing through them). And his innocence, which kept him curious. We belong to the same generation of Europeans who grew up on glam-rock and french songwriters (and yes, punk and new wave too), and felt that NYC was still the Great Adventure. Still ended up together in Damascus in the worst hotel ever, with Christoph totally cool about it. He will always be with me." Mariana Mila Macchi "I havent’t actually realized, what happened to my brother. I still wonder why? Not how, but why. Why just him, such an extraordinary human, so popular, so great, so healthy. I haven’t found an answer yet, it will last weeks, months, even years … I love you, Christoph!" Thomas, brother, Switzerland "I can hardly bear looking at the picture of Christoph. It’s so hard to believe and to accept that we will never meet again! That we will never eat Fondue together in wintertime and have Barbecue in the garden in summertime while discussing about a lot of topics. Christoph has been a wonderful brother-in-law. He was interested in so many things (from cooking to gardening to italian literature), so curious to know other opinions and so open-minded. He always was sincerely interested in the life of other people. And he was a fantastic uncle too! Our son loved playing and kidding together with his uncle. Only a few months ago they played together with the trains that Christoph and his brother Thomas played with in their childhood. It’s so sad that Christoph will not see growing up his nephew. He could have taught him such a lot, and Dominic would have been so proud of him! thank you Christoph for everything you’ve given to us. We are very, very sad. We miss you su much and we will always love you and never forget you." Ines, your sister-in-law

Jan 2010

Terrible, terrible class. Professor Shohamy is a nice woman, but the class is absolutely terrible. She lectures for 1 1/2 hours on some random thing, then expects us to memorize every single and vague detail from the textbook for the tests. In addition, the TAs are not helpful at all and grade harshly. The review sessions were pointless and I left early almost every session. I don't even think most of the TAs knew their material, since they almost always referred to the textbook. I think a huge majority of the class fell asleep during her lectures, which were boring and did not help us understand much at all. DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS

Dec 2009

Class was among the worst I've taken. I consider myself really science-minded, but the class rarely worked from first principles. Instead, the course jumped around in a seemingly disorganized fashion and I was always left puzzled as to how to really integrate everything in a meaningful way. Moreover, the TA's... could hardly be called useful or friendly. A recent review session, for example, consisted of a couple of TA's sitting rather comfortably, slouched or curled up in chairs, simply either dismissing or searching through glossaries for answers. With regard to a question read from a review sheet, "Sorry -- that's too similar to material that will be on the final so we can't review it" -- well, yeah! That's why we have the review sheets! And, ostensibly anyways, asking review questions and getting some modicum of help from TA's should be the object of a review session! But I digress. Here's the deal: I don't really recommend this class for anyone. Too detailed for students that aren't really science-minded and few guiding principles for learning the material for students who are science-minded. That said, this is Shohamy's first semester, and I do suspect this course only has the potential to improve with time.

Dec 2009

Shohamy gets up every class, goes through a pretty simplistic series of slides that condense the material well, and then goes on her merry way to do research, leaving the TAs to pick up the mess for the exams. I found this course extremely easy, almost ludicrously so, if only because the course material basically constitutes a combination of AP Biology and AP Psychology. Other students, however, found the course very difficult, especially if they expected a breezy class to fulfill the science requirement. Overall, this class was not enriching and not particularly interesting, but it got the job done. At least cognitive psychology isn't a total joke.

Nov 2009

I first signed up for this class due to two reasons: (1) for my science core requirement and (2) the concept of "psychology" intrigued me. However, within the first few lectures my fantasy was totally shattered into pieces. There is no doubt that Professor Shohamy is an intelligent and nice woman. Nonetheless, her lectures are not interesting at all and often just talks about the examples/experiments of such. She does not go in-depth about the whole chapter. She mentioned that she lectures about what SHE thinks is important, but somehow the midterms and final include a lot of the "unimportant" stuff never mentioned during the lectures. Also, she talks way too fast. If you want to get a good grade, read and literally memorize the textbook verbatim. The materials resemble a freshman bio class, and if you don't know them you will suffer the consequences. The tests are graded by TAs, and they are VERY harsh on grading. Personally, I think you should avoid this class. The professor is, as I've said earlier, intelligent and nice, but it seems as if she does not really care about the class. All she does is just stroll in at 2:40 with her little macbook, give a lecture for an hour or so and then just leave. My advice: just do not take it. It is not worth your time and effort, unless you are seriously thinking of going into neuroscience.

Nov 2009

I thoroughly enjoyed the class with Christoph. His lectures a thorough and well organized and he often even ends class five minutes early. Extra credit work and study credits are offered and the exams are very straight forward with multiple choice and a short answer. The tests are mostly lecture based, so go to class and take notes and you'll be fine. He's also very nice and willing to help students if you absolutely need it.

May 2009

Prof Christoph is a developmental psychobiologist at the department of psychiatry in the medical campus. But, for this course, his lectures were incredibly rudimentary and simple. The course basically comprises of memorizing his powerpoint lectures. The textbook is not needed at all. The exam questions at many times do not accurately judge your knowledge and understanding of the material, but rather, judge basic rote memorization of the lectures word-for-word. BTW, the exams are incredibly simple. Really, really, really, really simple. Really. Just rote memorize the lectures, and you will be fine. But the thing is, because of this, the median is quite high and the standard deviation is incredibly low. Thus, a difference of 3 points on the exam can fling your grade of a B to an A.

May 2009

Wiedenmayer is one of the greatest teachers at columbia. he really cares about the class, and he shows it. His english is not so great, so some of the test questions don't make sense. otherwise, the class is really not bad at all. This is a good option for the science requirement.

May 2009

While not exactly riveting, this class is the perfect way to fulfill a psych or science requirement. Prof. Wiedenmayer is an excellent lecturer and teacher, he knows his stuff and is very responsive to student questions and concerns--he responds to emails almost immediately. Something to know before you go into the class, however: do not, under any circumstances, do the reading. It will waste your time, and may even confuse you. The tests are SOLELY based on the lectures. Also, make sure you do all of the extra credit. It will help you in the end. Finally, the tests are VERY nit-picky. Though they are straight-forward, you must have all the details of the lecture flawlessly memorized. Overall, the class is worthwhile, but just make sure you know these things going into it.

Jan 2009

This is the worst, most poorly taught class I have encountered at Columbia. STAY AWAY FROM THIS WOMAN! She is rude and puts in zero effort to this class. This is an introductory class yet she teaches it like a seminar. I am a psychology major so take my word on this: do not take this course taught by Taylor. Get out of it at all costs, if you don't you'll be writing a review just like this to warn your fellow classmates. I have NEVER had a class at Columbia where a professor consistently does not show up to their office hours. I went to her office hours 3 times, and on each occasion I waited the entire time and she never showed. On top of this, she did not send out any emails indicating that she wouldn't be able to make it. I also emailed her on multiple occasions and did not receive any response at all. She also missed a few lectures without bothering to send out an email. She was the queen of breaking promises. She always put study guides up late. For example: we'd get a 8 page study guide (I'm talking in depth and complicated with 30 questions dedicated the physiology of the eye) on a Friday with the exam on a Tuesday DURING midterms. The review session was on Sunday and I didn't get through even two pages of the study guide by that time! She also returned our assignments sometimes up to 3 weeks late. Another annoying aspect of this class is the fact that she is constantly confused as to what she has lectured on before. There have been at least 3 classes where we repeated the same material from a previous lecture. She relied on her T.A.'s to do absolutely everything since she was rarely available. All she had to do was make up the lectures and make it to class- and she was unable to do this. I will also add in as a side note that the first few weeks of class you will think you have a good handle on the material and that you are prepared for the exams-wrong! Just wait until you get the study guide... I did well in this course, but that is partly because I have been in the psychology department for a few years here, and much of this was review to me. This is NOT the class to take for your science requirement. I love Columbia and I have had the privilege of being taught by some of the best professors in the world in my 4 years at this school. That's why I can tell you: Taylor is an embarrassment to Columbia. It's one thing not to be a talented professor, it's another thing entirely not to put in any effort whatsoever. Avoid like the worst plague you've ever heard of. The saddest part of this whole ordeal is that I learned nothing. A professor that puts in zero effort gets a zero from me.

Dec 2008

Terrible. She speaks to the class like we're in kindergarten. Taylor is rude to those who ask questions and rushes through the slides before any concept can be fully understood. Her exam questions are discombobulating and very complex for a survey class. Her TA's were a joke, too.

Jun 2008

Any introduction course is frightening at first, especially if you have little to no background in the subject. However, I did suprising well in Mind, Brain, and Behavior with minimal effort. Professor Wiednmayer's teaching style is very straight foward. Just make sure to print out the slides before class, write notes on them while in his lecture, and study straight from that. No need to use the textbook (I didn't even buy it), or study for days. Simply review three hours before the exam, do the extra credit and you get an A. Now, even though the class didn't require a lot of work, it was still a pretty interesting class. Professor Wiednmayer, with his silly little German accent, keeps everyone entertained and focused on the material, by using examples and anacdotes related to whatever subject we currently are covering. He was a wonderful professor, and I would recommend him to anyone who considers into going into psychology/neuroscience orwho is simply interested in the brain and would like an intro class that doesn't make you want to surgically remove your brain.

Dec 2007

Professor Wiedenmayer is one of the most organized and best prepared lecturers I've ever come across. His presents his lectures off a powerpoint slideshow which you are actually able to print before class in a format that allows you to write notes next to each slide. Because of this, this was probably the easiest class I've ever had to review for at the end of semester. The material is fairly straight forward. This is a survey course, so if sciences are not your thing you will probably be fine. There's a bit of basic biology but no chemistry or physics. That said, if sciences are your thing (especially if you're a psyc major) you may find yourself wishing there was a little more depth. If you are going to be a psyc or neuro sciences major and are thinking of just taking Science of Psyc to fulfill your freshman requirements, you may do well to take this class as well. It will set you up for any neuro classes you take later on as well as give you a good foundational knowledge of neuro anatomy and physiology.

Nov 2006

an easy class, even for non science people. not too much work. he is a nice guy. stick to his lectures and not the book to study for exams.

May 2006

A subject like this is built on foundations from anatomy and neuroscience, and at the same time it has to be dumbed down in order to make a fair 1000-level course. This was a very bad combination for me. Because the course has to be accessible, the material is removed from its context, and in this sense becomes largely incoherent. The nonscientific students come out thinking that they didn't understand the biology, but I think the lack of context and logical continuity trips them up more. You end up sitting in a lecture hall with 100+ people [who often talk, go online, and leave garbage on the floor] and watch slides flash on the screen. I disagree with reviewers who have called Christoph precise or clear. The lectures seem misty, I think reflecting the problem of the lack of context I just wrote about. One reviewer said that Christoph didn't seem that bright, and I can understand this accusation, but, still, I think it's more of a problem of him trying to communicate after having dropped scientific language for the sake of having a course that easily fulfils a science requirement. I still think it's possible to have a 1000-level Mind, Brain, Behavior type course for students without a science background, but so much vagueness needs to be cleaned up. I would have learned a lot more and made much more effective use of time if I just received a list of assignments to do alone instead of trying to decipher the lectures. Avoid at all costs if lecture halls make you squirm.

May 2006

after reading all the reviews for this class, i was pretty apprehensive going into it. turns out, if you can get past the german accent (i found myself muttering "what?" too frequently), tests are a piece of cake. it's all just memorization, and here's a tip: make notecards. it might be a little time consuming, but if you're an english major like me and not premed, all you need to get an a+ in the class is memorize memorize memorize. which pretty much takes the point out of learning, if you ask me, because i've taken ap biology and ap psychology in high school and even those were more interesting to me than this was. the material could've possibly been interesting had it been presented in a different way. but whatever, if you want an easy class to fulfill a science requirement, take mcgourty's science & technology instead. otherwise, left with no choice and if you don't give a damn about learning anything, i'd go with this over like, history of dinosours. really.

Dec 2005

I generally concur with the other reviews on here, but want to stress that Dr. Mangels is a phenomenal professor, in my opinion. The course was very difficult, disproportionately so for an introductory level course. However, the material was really interesting, and practical and current - - significantly moreso than in the other intro psych course (Science of Psych)- - and Dr. Mangels is interesting, clear, concise and totally transparent as a professor. You know exactly what you need to do, need to know, what opportunities will help push you forward in the class. Whether you have the time or inclination to actually do them is another issue, but I think Dr. Mangels is the kind of professor who can inspire someone to choose neuropsychology as a future profession - which is pretty powerful and I am grateful that someone of this caliber is teaching an intro level course. The self tests were very difficult but very useful for the exams. There was a lot of anatomy and a lot of memorization in that area, which is rough for some (like me) but doable if you set your mind to it. The first two exams were reasonable and the final was quite difficult, but she gives you very clear review sheets for every exam. Stick to them and you will be in good shape.

Aug 2005

Overall, it's a decent class. At first, Cristoph seems like he's a really great professor, but as the class progresses, you find that he much less than you intially expected... not to say he isn't intelligent though... Neuroscience is a new field and with the rate at which things change witin the area, you can't expect on person to know everything. The problem is that this class is like a survey course of neuroscience, but because a lot of the topics are interesting students ask really specific questions that only a professor of that specific area being covered would be able to answer. He gives a 3 to 5 minute break in the middle of class which is GREAT. He understands that you can't keep the full attention of a person for 75 minutes straight. You DON'T need a solid scientific background at all to succeed in the class, grade-wise anyway... Grades are based on three tests (2 midterms, 1 final). STUDY for these tests... Best way to study review powerpoints. He posts the slides ahead of time. Print them out before class and take notes directly on them... works well that way. Just be sure to put in a few hours of study time for each test. Or if you can review your notes each week to help commit stuff to memory... but of course spending one night studying for the tests is easier... The first test is a really good indicator of the next two... Overall, I was disappointed with the class... the tests really just tested how well you memorized terms (YES. STUDY. THE TERMS HE LISTS ON THE SYLLABUS PAGE. It really points you in the right direction) rather than testing your understanding of the concepts. But whether or you're an English major or a bio major, you've got equal chances of doing well in the class. It may be a lot of technical jargon abd scientific crap, but in the end, it's just memorizing info which everyone can do.

Jul 2005

This class sucks, worst Ive ever taken. It's not the TAs fault, not Prof. Wiedenmayer's fault, maybe not even the materials fault; it is all my fault. I had no business being in this class, and will forever wish I didn't sign up for it. I know people out there love this material but I found it to be completely boring. I guess Prof. Wiedenmayer is a good guy, I don't know I didnt ever go see him one on one. I guess the TAs were helpful (again I have no idea I never went to see them). Again, all my fault I shouldn't have been in this class. I'm a poli sci and econ major; not only is this knowledge largely useless but completely uninteresting. Please be warned that unless you are pre-med or find discussions of the brain interesting stay away at all costs.

Jan 2005

What is everyone talking about? "All of the neuroscience majors throw off the curve too much"--"This class is overwhelming and hard." Look, you have to know what you're getting into from the beginning. If you want an easy class to fulfill a science requirement, don't go with this one. At the same time, you don't have to be in the field to appreciate it. I am by no means a neuroscience major: after high school I vowed never to take another math class again. I am a freshman. I did take this class to fulfill my science requirement and yet I finished the class with a freakin' A+. It was the last thing I expected. After looking on CULPA before I took it I was petrified, but I took it anyway because I didn't have many other options and I think it's interesting. If you don't think it's interesting, don't take it. This has to be something you like to learn about. Yes, there's an insane amount of information in the class, but it comes part and parcel with COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE. That's exactly what the class is. She gives extra credit--that's so generous! Yes, it often takes more than an hour to successfully complete a self test, but you should do it anyway because that information is almost always covered in some form on the exam. Yes, it forces you to go back through your old notes, but you're going to have to do that anyway to study! You might as well get credit for it. Be prepared to do your work and you'll be fine. Dr. Mangels' lectures are extremely interesting and she's a very nice person--even by the negative reviewers that seems to be undisputed. I only realized after the class has ended how much I truly enjoyed it. It has affected the way that I think and view the world. Incredible.

Dec 2004

Like the previous reviewer, I had a love-hate relationship with this course. I found most of the material very interesting, but had a strong distaste for Mangels’ approach to teaching. There were some good things: Mangels is quite organized and her lectures are fairly easy to follow. She incorporates video, overheads, and blackboard notes pretty well. Our TAs were knowledgeable and tried to be helpful. Mangels herself is a fairly nice woman, enthusiastic, and happy to answer questions during lecture. All of the good aspects aside, I still would not recommend this class to anyone who did not have BOTH a strong interest in psychology (or rather, brain anatomy) and lots of time to devote to studying ridiculously detailed anatomical details of the brain. There is practically no understanding required to do well in this course, just memorization. For example, although you will have no idea what a superior olivary nucleus IS, you will be required to know that it is part of the auditory pathway. Anyone who has to take MBB for whatever reason (psych or neuroscience majors), I’ve heard that Weidenmeyer (who teaches second semester) is a much more reasonable professor (and has an accent to boot). Mangels’ biggest fault is that she attempts to teach far too much. She covers a lot of topics (it’s an overwhelming amount) and most of them are interesting. She teaches each topic in great detail, so you will undoubtedly learn a ton in this class. However, to eke out a decent grade, you will work hard. Probably harder than for any other intro course you take. (Note this was a 3 pt 1000-level class, but it felt like a 4 pt 3000-level class in terms of workload) It is not the class itself that is hard – it is Mangels’ approach to teaching it. For example, her exams cover the minutest detail – stuff you would never think would be on an exam. Your whole grade will be based on your exam grades. Mangels claims that her optional self-tests can help “nudge” your grade upwards if you are borderline by the end of the semester. But don’t bother unless you plan on doing all of them or a large majority of them. She does not consider doing 5 or 6 of the 11 self-tests “nudge-worthy.” Moreover, they will take your several hours to do correctly, and you will not get any credit for them unless they are at least 80 percent correct. My opinion may be skewed because I had a very full schedule when I took this class. I am pre-med and was also taking bio and orgo. I was considering a neuroscience major, but now I am not. I’m pretty sure I would have enjoyed the class more if I had more time dedicate to it. But I ended up feeling like I devoted hours and hours of time to this class that I did not really have to spare, and my grade did not reflect my effort. I studied more for the final exam for this class than for my orgo final. I pulled an A in orgo and got a B+ in this class. Take from that what you will.

Dec 2004

I concur with the review on December 24. I withdrew from the class after the second exam. The class requires an ENORMOUS amount of time commitment. As the reviewer before me stated, this is a 3 unit, 1000 level class. Dr. Mangels' expectations are unreasonable. This is evident in her rigid teaching style. She covers an enormous amount of material each and every class, sticking to her lesson plan. She appears annoyed with questions from students because the questions cut into her pre-programmed structure. This leaves little room for spontaneity in the class and real learning gets lost. I would never recommend this class to anyone.

Dec 2004

I had a love-hate relationship with this course. Ultimately, I can't recommend it. I’ll begin with the good (and there is quite a bit): Jennifer Mangels is a fantastic lecturer. She integrates powerpoint, overheads, the chalkboard and great movies to present the material in a fun and interesting way. She often gives cute anecdotes and nmemonic which make the material easier to learn and remember. The TAs were great – they always explained things clearly, and the two guest lectures they gave were good. That being said, the workload of this class was RIDICULOUS. Although none of the material was particularly difficult, there was TONS OF IT and the level of detail is overwhelming, requiring tons of studying and memorization time. The review sheet for the final exam was SEVEN PAGES LONG, and that was only half of the exam (unlike most classes, this final is truly cumulative). I quickly began dreading the weekly self-tests which required me to go back hunting through my notes (and the book) for the most minor details. The book does a really terrible job explaining things, but they might be switching to another book next year. Although many of the lectures presented really interesting material, some were excruciatingly dry (for example, the architecture of the hippocampus) and required pure memorization. On a few lectures, she didn’t manage her time well and spent the last 10 minutes writing the material on the board (as we frantically copied it down) without explaining it – it's like Dr. Mangels feels this strange obligation to get through an absurd amount of material. For example, she didn’t have time to teach us about Schizophrenia, but she required us to teach ourselves that section (as if i didn’t have enough to do while preparing for finals!) As an earlier reviewer said, it is as if she believes this class is every student’s sole purpose in life. The tests, each consisting of 70 multiple choice questions (the final was an absurd 144 questions) were really frustrating and easy to screw up even if you knew the material. The questions often asked REALLY minor details (sometimes pure memorization) – details that any normal person studying for this exam would conclude “there’s no way she’ll ask that” – but she does... SO, TO SUMMARIZE: Great lectures, great TAs, material sometimes fascinating sometimes boring, large workload, harsh grading, way too much material and way too much detail (especially for a 3 point, 1000 level class) = a painful experience = avoid this course. It's not worth the pain

Dec 2004

Mangels is a great lecturer and you learn a lot in her class. She clearly knows how to teach a class and is very accessible via email and office hours. The class itself, though, is really hard. I went into it having taken 4 other psychology classes here (including ones about the brain & cognition) and found this course to go more in depth with every subject... which means a lot of studying for exams. I personally thought the exams were hard, but extra credit counts for a lot. She mentions that she curves exams - the first one a lot of people did well on, so no curve, the second was only curved 3 points and the final 8 (out of 144). So basically don't count on much of a curve. If you're willing to put in the work it's a good class but be ready to work hard... about 9% of our class failed and another 13% or so got Ds as final grades... and with a bunch of junior & senior psych and neuroscience majors in the course, it's basically study your ass off and get an A or B or don't study too much and fail.

Nov 2004

Christoph is an awesome professor. For those that complain about too much bio, wake up! The brain is essentially an interpreter and communicator of its biochemical state. Deal with it or try philosophy. Professor Weidenmayer encourages innovative thought and genuine understanding of the material. Mind Brain Behavior was easy (and I'm not pre-med) as is his Psych seminar: Evolution of Human Behavior. Weidenmayer is very fair and straight-foreword. You'll do well in this class if you are interested in the material and go over the lectures before the exams.

May 2004

Having little to no background in the type of material here, I was fairly anxious about taking this class, but Cristoph does a very good job of presenting the material in a concise manner. The classes almost solely consist of him lecturing with a Powerpoint presentation, but he'll crack a joke here or there and even give 3-minute breaks in a 75 minute class(!) to break it up a bit. The material itself is fascinating ... it is heavily biological and mostly deals with the workings of the nervous system, acting as an effective counterpoint to other psychology classes I have taken. Don't bother even buying the textbook ... tests are completely based on the material presented in class, but do require a lot of memorization and sometimes ask irritating questions about the most trivial details, so they expect you to know just about everything. However, being able to print out the slides and take notes on them makes studying much easier. I definitely recommend this course.

May 2004

I loved Christoph and learned a lot in this course. Nonetheless, the final was much more difficult (and worth more) than either of the previous two tests. I still managed to do well, but that was a bit annoying. T.A.'s were chill as hell, especially Tammy and Johannes. Glad I took this class, as I believe I learned appliable knowledge, as opposed to bullshit.

May 2004

Previous reviewers have largely missed the point here. The problem with this class is not that it's biologically oriented; clearly, if you don't want to learn about the biology you shouldn't take this class. The problem is that Wiedenmayer \does not understand the biology well enough. In fact, I got the general impression that he's just not that bright. Several times, Wiedenmayer described the procedure and results of some experiment, then would claim a conclusion that didn't really seem to follow. When he was questioned because of this, he would typically answer politely, but not really engage with the point made by the questioner. Sometimes he would defer, erroneously claiming that everything would be clarified later, sometimes he would just repeat something he had already said, even though it wasn't really relevant. (Note to previous reviewer: Yes there were some dumb questions. But there were also a lot of intelligent questions that he treated as if they were dumb.) Additionally, he seemed to inappropriately simplify (e.g. his explanation of evolution) or simply get wrong (e.g. his description of the work of Stephen Pinker) some basic facts and concepts. There were some other shortcomings to this class. The exams focused entirely on vocabulary, not abstraction. That is, they measured only how well you had memorized the lectures, not how well you understood the concepts. I realize that in a class like this a significant amount of memorization is appropriate, however, I think it should be better balanced. For instance, the essay questions could ask you to explain an experimental result or consider a theory, rather than simply asking you to repeat facts learned in class. Also, the class was seemingly filled with freshmen satisfying their science requirement, who seemed to feel that it was totally acceptable for them to talk loudly through class, which could be fairly distracting. Despite all of this, the class was far from a waste. While, I think Wiedenmayer's understanding of the material is somewhat lacking, he is reasonably good at presenting what he does understand. Also, the textbook is pretty good (although largely unneccessary). I came away from this class, having learned a significant amount of neuroscience, which I think is a fascinating subject.

May 2004

I loved this class. Wiedenmayer is adorable, and a good lecturer. He somehow manages to finish his lectures exactly on time every single class. The information is really interesting and he goes out of his way to present studies that have been recently published that relate to whatever we're learning. The connection to the real world is definitely a nice plus. He's also great at answering questions, no matter how dumb they are. And yes, people ask REALLY dumb questions. This class is not difficult, but getting a good grade on midterms can be, simply because it's a class where anyone can do well on the tests, so small mistakes really cost you. I think that the self-tests make up for that.

Jan 2004

Dr. Mangels has had plenty of good reviews already, but given the last few, I felt I had to respond. I found this course to be very interesting. The nature of the course is such that the first half of the semester is mostly biology, and you may decide that this is not your cup-of-tea, but that in no way qualifies it as a boring, misguided course. I found Dr. Mangels to be a fascinating lecturer, and I felt that she is just an amazing person. For example, in one of her interactive experiments, one of the test words was 'terrorist.' After the experiment, she made a side-comment that "much later, you'll tell your grandkids that you had this experiment, and you still remember the word 'terrorist' being in it, and they'll say, 'What's a terrorist, grandpa?' Wouldn't that be nice?" Dr. Mangels' human side made it such a pleasure for me to learn from her. I love you Dr. Mangels!

Jan 2004

Just to counter many of the reviews, which seem to have been from people looking for an easy way to satisfy their science requirement: Mind, Brain and Behavior is a fantastic course, if you take it to be an introduction to cognitive neuroscience. Professor Mangels does an excellent job of exploring in depth a great variety of topics in a clear and interesting way. This was the course which motivated me to become a Neuroscience and Behavior major; if you're considering it at all Mangels is definitely the professor to take this class with. That said, the same reason that makes this class great for the science-inclined may make it an awful experience for those who are looking for the least painful way to satisfy their requirement. But if you're prepared to put in the effort, anyone can leave the class with some really comprehensive knowledge.

Jan 2004

Evil, Evil, Evil! Stay away from this woman. I read reviews about her before I took the class thinking, "it can't be THAT bad." Well, it is worse. She is a brilliant woman, don't get me wrong, she knows her stuff. The problem is that she knows everything but can't grasp the fact that other people don't pick up on it so easily. Mangels just talks 'at' you during lectures. She is easily annoyed when people ask a lot of questions. The self tests, extra articles, etc are all well and good but they are too time consuming and can be a waste. If you dont get ALL of the extra credit questions right, you get NO credit. How ridiculous. If you really need this class just wait until a spring semester to have a different teacher.

Jan 2004

Aside from a cryptic text, shallow and boring lectures, weekly self-tests that have nothing to do with either text or lecture, grouchy TAÂ’s, acid exams that test ridiculous detail, and a stingy curve made even worse by NS + B majors, this class was a joy.

Nov 2003

OMG! Hmmm...Where can I start? Let me dish you in on Professor Mangels good qualities first: 1.) she knows her field; 2.) she can answer almost any question you throw at her about the material; and 3.) most of the time she is a good lecturer. However, the bad outweighs the good! I respect Professor Mangels b/c she is a very intelligent woman but she needs to have at least a little compassion for her students! First and foremost, she needs to get GOOD TA's b/c ours were no help at all! The truth is if you are not good in science DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS! Please while you are still ahead, LEAVE! Basically, the whole field of neuroscience is what you are responsible for--from 19th century Phrenology to the real nitty gritty like "visual primitive" and beyond. The exams are horribly difficult and viciously/shrewdly deceptive . The majority of the questions on the exams, you have to read more than twice--to make sure there are no hidden tricks. She does give out a review outline for every exam but if you are taking more than just this class it can almost be impossible to get through the entire outline. And trust me I started studying as soon as the outline was posted on courseworks! But it is as if she believes this class is every students soul purpose. There is too much material you must MEMORIZE for each exam. Furthermore, the review sessions that the TA's hold in case you have any questions, are no help either. They either tell you to refer to the book on page blah or they totally misinterpret your question. They do not elaborate at all. Finally, the extra credit self-tests are Bulls***! You have the option of doing them and if you do decide to, you MUST get at least 80% correct in order to get any credit. They too are dreadful! I spent agonizing nights pulling my hair out on finishing the exams only to find that I recieved no credit b/c I got 1out of 10 questions wrong (the question I got wrong was worth 1 point more than the rest). I wanted to be a psychology major but the psychology at Columbia College and General Studies is completely different from most institutions. I have changed my major, do you see how traumatized I am? Additionally, for all of you who think I am stupid and that is why I am giving Professor Mangels a bad review, no, you're wrong! I passed the class well off too!

Sep 2003

It's what it says: Mind, Brain, & Behavior. If you want to know about the nervous system, then take this class. The names Freud, Jung, or Dr. joyce Brothers were never mentioned.In general very personable, and extremely organized was Weidenmayer. No suprises, no punches out of left field.He had a self-condescending, self-deprecating style that was pleasant. He encouraged questions and always followed up with researched, in-depth answers for students. He cannot be faulted on that front. His exams were based almost entirely on his lectures, the readings served to clarify his lecture's points. If you take this class, print out his slides first, make all your notes directly on them, be in tune with what he's saying because that's all that matters. The extra credit weekly tests are a great way to up your final grade while figuring out all the material. The drag is that the textbook costs a fortune and is hardly used.

Sep 2003

THIS IS THE WITCHIEST PROFESSOR I HAVE EVER HAD AT COLUMBIA! DO not take her class. She is ruthless, secretly malicious, unforgiving, and inflexible. Her lectures are boring and you will fall asleep the whole time, and then you will fail her brutally esoteric - 100 question multiple choice exams. If you're smart, get out while you can. PS - the bulletin fails to mention that many of the students taking this course are Neuroscience majors, who skew the curve.

Sep 2003

One of my favorite professors ever! Very personable, always encouraging, and his lectures are extremely refined. Of course the class is mostly bio, it's neuroscience! Don't fault him for that if you can't handle biology.

Jul 2003

Everyone here seems to be complaining about his focus on biology - but that is the point of this course. This is one of the two intro courses to psychology, the other one, science of psych, focuses on the more psychological, philosophical side whereas this one is about the biology. Psychology is a science! Wiedenmeyer was a good professor. He gave a good, fair overview of all of neuroscience. His midterms and final were not difficult, but cramming the night before will definitely do you know good so you should probably listen during lectures and read.

May 2003

Contrary to many of the opinions expressed here I found Dr. Weidenmayer to be a very good teacher. His explanations were clear and when they weren't he did his best to try and clarify things. He encourages questions and if there is something he doesn't have an answer for he will research it and come back the next week with the answer. Dr. Weidenmayer was always available after class or by email to answer any questions. He's very organized and uses Powerpoint. Usually I find Powerpoint to be annoying, but I think in this class it worked well. There were 3 TAs for this class. Johannes Schwaninger was very enthusiastic and offered as much help as you needed. He would reply to email qustions with lengthy, clear explanations that were very helpful.

May 2003

christoph is soooo cool. he dresses in these funny h&m clothes & stumbles over simple english words a lot, but he's a great professor. he makes all the lectures interesting & he always ends on- time. his slides are helpful, & the fact that u can print them out before class is very helpful in note taking. his tests are fair, & he give u plenty of extra-credit opportunities.

Apr 2003

Get out of this class as fast as you can! This was the worst class I have taken here. Wiedenmayer focuses almost all of his attention on the biological aspects of the brain and almost entirely ignores the psychological aspects of it. The only people who have a shot at doing well in this class are premeds and GS students. I worked harder in this class than any other and barely made out with a C+ (after the self tests). If you want to keep your sanity and GPA in good shape, avoid this class. However, if you are determined to take the class, be sure to do all the self tests. They really help you out in the end.

Jan 2003

Ok, I think we've heard enough from all the science-phobics out there...now it's time to hear the TRUTH about MBB! I admit, there is a lot of memorization and it's pretty difficult to get A's unless you have plenty of time to devote to this class, but since it's so enlightening, WHO GIVES A DAMN? A word of advice to all the budding neurologists, neuropsychologists, and psychiatrists out there: don't even think about interning until after you take MBB! I swear, you'll know pretty much everything you need to know for a career in one of those fields! You'll learn about all the latest technological advances, all the psychological tests, and almsot every cognitive disorder in MBB...and, to your surprise, you'll remember most of it! And, believe me, if you mention anything you've learned in MBB, the docs will just ADORE you! Bottom line: if you're just another neurotic grade-grubber, stay away from this class. If you really want to learn and apply your knowledge to real life, I command you to take MBB before you leave CU! And, finally, if you're reading this...Jennifer Mangels, you are the greatest!

Jan 2003

Thank you people! I thought I was the only one who have had an EXTREMELY frustrating experience with this class. Pure memorization. This is a class for pre meds, biology and psychology majors, but not for people who are looking for an interesting science class to fulfill a requirement. The amount of details is ridiculous. Warning: don't be fooled by Prof. Mangels smooth talk about how she'll get you into this stuff. Although she is in fact a good lecturer, you begin by thinking she'll discuss how drugs affect you brain and end the semester with your brain fried by hours and hours of useless studying. As if that wasn't enough, she'll pull little tricks on the exams - so not only you have to remember the answers but you have to read the question over and over again.Besides, if you're not going to use it for anything else (i.e: your major) you forget all you have "learned" by the second day of your break.

Jan 2003

God, that last review I read was SO right on. This class has nothing to do with comprehension--just straight up memorization. That's it. Mangels will ask ultra-specific questions that seem more like trivia as opposed to an actual review of whether or not we grasped what we were supposed to know. Oh. And the extra credit is BS. Pure BS. I did EVERY SINGLE SELF-TEST (which DON'T help you review for the exams) and got ZERO points of extra credit. They take time, too... very specific, with exact page numbers, etc. Ugh. Please, please don't take this class unless a) you're insane about memorizing stuff (that's ALL THIS CLASS IS) or b) you're looking for a biological approach to cognitive neuroscience. No traditional psychology is taught here. What a shame. Mangels, as a professor, isn't so bad. I mean, she seemed nice enough. The TAs were ridiculous--they weren't accessible, and if you went to one of their asinine study sessions, they'd tell you to "look up an answer in the Schermerhorn psych library." How's that for help?

Dec 2002

Incredible. Never thought anyone could make me interested in science, but Mangels is an interesting lecturer who makes you care about the subject even if you didn't before. organized, clear, totally understandable. A lot of memorization. Class focuses on the neuroscience aspect of psychology, so its biological and scientific.

Dec 2002

Mangels is an excellent lecturer. IÂ’ve taken more than 50 points in the psychology department and I enjoyed most of those classes; this is one of the better courses in the area. Mangels clearly enjoys teaching and likes talking to students. The class is a bit more difficult than other classes you could take to fulfill the science requirement, so if youÂ’re looking to loaf, go somewhere else. I actively avoided neuroscience for three years and came into the class with a less than optimistic attitude, but her interest in the material is contagious. If you came to Columbia to get straight As and get into law school, this may not be the easiest way to achieve your goal. If you came to learn from bright, interesting, and skilled professors, this is an excellent course. Strongly recommended.

Dec 2002

I hate this class. 1) The name of the class is complete shit - it has nothing to do with mind or behavior. just brain, brain, brain. This is NOT a psychology course - this is a biology course - cognitive neuroscience. If you're trying to avoid taking a bio course for the science requirement, you fail with this class, even though it's in the psychology department. 2) Jennifer Mangels is an obnoxious, condescending professor with immature and preconceived notions of how to run a class. She makes everyone sign an attendance sheet (ostensibly only for extra credit, but the curve changes this - see below). She and the textbook manage to come up with a new word basically every sentence. She treats students like children, has a completely hands - off approach by having the TA's do *everything*, and is just plain an annoying speaker to have to listen to twice a week. 3) the course is pure memorization. the first exam had a question with about 20 parts, asking you to label every single fucking part of the brain. no comprehension, no analysis, just memorization. 4) the grading system is unbelievable. There is extra credit on exams, there is also extra credit for attendance (but only if you attend each and every godforsaken class) , and there is extra credit for handing in optional self-tests. The self tests are extremely annoying, by the way. The point is, a curve is instituted, but she doesn't institute a curve based on raw scores -she looks at all the extra credit, and if she likes the distribution with that, then she doesn't do a curve. so if you don't do extra credit, you get screwed.

Oct 2002

Beware! This man bases everything on bio, and doesn't communicate with students AT ALL. The grades are based on a curve, so the premeds make it almost impossible to get anything above a C. Also, none of the test scores indicate your final grade. You won't realize until it's already stuck on your transcript that although you've been making B+'s on the midterms and the final, you actually get a C for the class. He also likes to copy and paste emails, so if you write him more than once about something, chances are you'll get the same reply. Be good to your GPA and stay out!

Jul 2002

Are these people joking with their reviews? This is the single worst class I have taken in Columbia. Mangels treats it like a high school class! She assigns "optional study questions" every week, "extra credit" readings on tests, and gives extra points for perfect attendence, but the class grades are CURVED. If you want to get an A, you have to do most of the extra work and come to EVERY class at 9AM. Still, the class would be "ok" if Mangels knew how to organize information. There is an incredible amount of memorization involved and Mangels just throws it at you in arbitrary categories. Go over your notes while studying for the final and you'll have no idea whats important and whats not. So EVERYTHING becomes important. Studying for her tests will take your youth away from you. I got an A in the class and I'm pleading with you not to take it. It is simply not worth it.

Apr 2002

He's definitely a very precise man - lectures strictly from his powerpoint presentations. He is absolutely dependent on them: One time, when the light bulb on the projector burned out, he could barely function! The class is interesting, but too much on the biological side. There's a huge emphasis on terminology and brain structures/processes. On the other hand, I enjoyed the class because I found the topics to be interesting. Plus, the midterms are pretty easy, if you go to classes. This is NOT a class to be missed. Reading the textbook is just about unnnecessary unless you want a more technical, in-depth explanation (which is, unnecessary).

Apr 2002

This class would be very interesting if wiedenmayer just stuck to teaching about the psychological aspects of the mind and brain, but instead he attempts to go too much into the biology, which of course he doesn't seem to understand very well. For a biology or a pre-med major his attempts at these explanations, particularly genetics, seem poorly put together and even borderline incorrect. For a non-science person the explanations are overwhelming and boring. Any time a student offers a bit of advice, a question, or a suggestion, he smirks very condescendingly and fakely and ignores what the student has to say.

Dec 2001

I would highly recommend this course and professor to anyone mildly interested in psychology or simply trying to fulfill the science requirement. Professor Mangels is very engaging and a fantastic lecturer. My only warning: this course doesn't discuss any interesting psychological concepts until the last few weeks of the course, until then it's almost entirely neuroscience. If you're willing to put up with lecture after lecture on neurons, this class is definitely worth it: there's very little work of any kind, and only 3 straightforward multiple choice tests.

Nov 2001

Professor Mangels is an excellent professor. Even at the dreadful hour of 9:10am she is fresh, awake and ready to go, always trying to throw in the occassional joke to keep the class awake. She also does everything possible to help her students learn. Every lecture is taped and all the materials used in class are put on reserve. She gives extra credit for going every time. Nevertheless, she still expects alot from her students, as evident by the test. Still most people get an "A", I think about 40 percent of the class.

Nov 2001

First, to the many people curious about psychology: don't take this class because it fits better into your schedule or because you see something bad here written about psych professors. Take the real Intro to Psych 1001. This class is so much biology (and thus rote memorization) and you have compete with so many crazy pre-med students with photographic memory and infinite diligence that mere curiosity is not enough). In short, to succeed in this class, you need to be pre-med. Prof Wiedenmayer is pretty cute and teaches okay. Lectures can be a little boring at times, but I guess that depends on whether you're pre-med or not. The TAs are pretty but not too helpful. A word about lifelong learners: don't underestimate them. There was this 40ish bald man with a beard in my class and I kept thinking to myself, 'Ha, this guy is gonna help my grade by being at the bottom the curve.' Later I realized he's actually practicing physician. One really has to wonder why someone with an MD would go back to school to do intro to neuroscience. To conclude, I think it'd be nice to have two different classes: Mind, Brain & Behavior and Mind, Brain & Behavior for pre- and current meds.

Nov 2001

Although her outlines and class lectures are very well outlined, they are extremely dry. I found myself falling asleep most days when I showed up to her class. The only real thing for this class is memorization. If you can memorize everything she says then you will have no problem with this class.

May 2001

Prof. Wiedenmayer presents the material for this class in a clear and straightforward manner. His lectures are accessable and very understandable. Nonscience majors will have no problem in this course. If you go to the lectures, listen, and take notes, you'll have no problem in this class since the exams are taken exclusively from the lecture materials. Prof. Wiedenmayer does a great job of setting goals for the course and communicating to students what they need to know for the exams. Overall this is a very good class.

Apr 2001

My lord this man is not a teacher. He is very precise indeed, but takes no interest in actually communicating with his class. He doesn't seem to really care if anyone is listening. He is content to lecture and lecture...in an extremely thick German accent. He uses Power Point presentations and goes through his slides at an extremely rapid pace making his students scribble to keep up because he rarely cares if you ask him to slow down, and when he does slow down, he seems annoyed or does not have the answer to your questions. The best sessions of this class were when there were guest lecturers! His exams are ambiguous and students are not allowed to keep them for studying pu

Apr 2001

Mangels is a well-organized, energetic lecturer, even at the painful hour of 9am. She uses helpful overheads and interesting video clips to supplement her lectures. She holds many review sessions and office hours throughout the semester. She offers many opportunities extra credit. She knows her stuff too and is able to field on-the-spot questions well.

Jan 2000

Professor Mangles is phenomenally up to date with the latest news in neuroscience research. Even at 9 a.m. her lectures are dynamic, engaging, and remarkably interesting. The material is always clear and well presented. She makes a special effort to incorporate slides, videos, and the web. If a dull moment ever occurs, she'll rattle off a joke about the time she was having an MRI (something you talk about in the class) and major problems occurred because she forgot to take off her underwire bra.