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Undergraduate Program

Study Abroad

The Study Abroad program is administrated by the Office of International Programs and offers numerous opportunities for students to do coursework with University professors in a variety of locations throughout the world.

Under the direction of Dr. Fred Ernst, The Department of Psychology offers a 12-day upper-division Summer Study Abroad course in Paris, entitled "History of Psychopathology and Behavioral Neuroscience". Through this course, student visit a number of historical sites and learn about prominent figures who were instrumental in the development of clinical and experimental psychology. One such site is the Hospital Salpetriere, now a huge complex of clinical and research buildings where...

  • in 1793, Phillipe Pinel and his assistant, Jean-Baptiste Pussin, removed chains and restraints from patients in the asylum of Salpetriere (La Bicetre) to initiate major Western World reforms in the treatment of the mentally ill;
  • in the late 19th Century, Jean Charcot studied hysteria and pioneered modern hypnosis;
  • from October 1885 to February 1886, Sigmund Freud studied under Charcot as he was developing the early features of psychoanalysis;
  • from 1884 to 1890, Georges Gilles de la Tourette studied under Charcot and identified what is now known as Tourette syndrome;
  • in 1890, Joseph Babinski was director of the neurology clinic and identified the plantar reflex as a pathophysiological response in some neurological disorders (the Babinski sign);
  • in 1862, Guillame-Benjamin Duchenne, who discovered muscular dystrophy, published his work on the expression of emotions in facial muscles identifying the “genuine” smile now known as the Duchenne smile;
  • before its transformation as a hospital, the building imprisoned the infamous Marquis de Sade in its early days as a prison for prostitutes and the criminally insane.

Students read assigned journal articles about each of these historical figures and are introduced to the pioneering work of Claude Bernard, father of experimental biology, who predated and influenced B. F. Skinner in his use of single-subject methodology to investigate the autonomic nervous system while developing the still-popular notion of homeostasis.

Students also visit Père Lachaise Cemetery where many of these pioneering neuroscientists were buried. Sufficient time is allowed to visit many of the museums and other sites that have made Paris one of the most famous and beautiful cities of the world.

Picture Gallery