The Science of Psychology

Open to students entering grades 11 or 12 or freshman year of college in the fall
I - June 29–July 17, 2020
II - July 21–August 7, 2020
Days & Time:
Monday–Friday, 11:10 a.m.–1:00 p.m. and 3:10–5:00 p.m.
Maria Anderson, Itamar Grunfeld, Lua Koenig, Michaela Porubanova

“I was simply surprised by the quality of the instructors and how excited I was about the material."  – Brooke S. | Raleigh, North Carolina

Course Description

This course is designed for students interested in the fundamental concepts, principles, and theories of psychology, the science of mind and behavior. It examines this basic question: What influences human behavior? The course provides an overview of the diverse topics within psychology, including biological bases of behavior, learning and memory, sensation and perception, cognitive development, language acquisition, and personality and social influences on behavior. Special emphasis is placed on current psychology research and topics relevant to both individual experience and real-world events.

In addition to lectures, students participate in in-class experiments demonstrating key psychological phenomena. Working in teams, and under instructor supervision, students design, run, and present data from an original psychological experiment.

Laptops, while not required for this course, are highly recommended.


Maria Anderson

Dr. Maria Anderson is an assistant professor of biological psychology at Farmingdale State College and a researcher at Stony Brook University. Her research focuses on the influence of lifestyle factors such as cardiovascular exercise and cognitive stimulation on the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. She holds a B.A in psychology, a B.A. in Italian language and literature, an M.A. in psychology, and a Ph.D. in integrative neuroscience. In addition to conducting research, Maria teaches a variety of courses including Introduction to Psychology, Biopsychology, and Learning and Behavior. 

Itamar Grunfeld

Itamar Grunfeld is a Ph.D. student in the behavioral and cognitive neuroscience program at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is interested in how exposure to chronic stress can serve as a potential risk factor for developing psychiatric disorders. His research explores how stress can cause a breakdown in discrimination, causing previously innocuous stimuli to appear threatening. Itamar holds a B.S., an M.S., and an M.Phil. in psychology and has spent time working with clinical populations in hospitals. He is currently a lab instructor for Introductory Biology and Principles of Biology, and he works with various organizations throughout New York City to foster neuroscience education in high schools.

Lua Koenig

Lua Koenig is a Ph.D. student in cognitive neuroscience at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is interested in understanding how our rich, everyday subjective experience can arise from biological mechanisms in the brain. Her research investigates the mechanisms of touch perception, including how touch perception interacts with other modalities such as vision and hearing. Lua received her B.A. in neuroscience from Trinity College, Dublin. She has experience teaching cognitive neuroscience and introductory psychology as well as graduate-level statistics.

Michaela Porubanova

Dr. Michaela Porubanova is an assistant professor of cognitive psychology at The State University of New York, Farmingdale, where she also directs the Visual Cognition and Emotion Research Laboratory. Her research revolves around the role of emotion in visual attention and consciousness. She is a functionalist believing in the evolutionary shaping of our cognitive architecture. In addition to research, she has taught a large variety of classes topic-wise (cognition, consciousness, culture and cognition, the psychology of learning, independent research), location-wise (The Czech Republic, US, UK, Italy, Austria), and type-wise (face-to-face, hybrid, online).  

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Specific course detail such as hours and instructors are subject to change at the discretion of the University. Not all instructors listed for a course teach all sections of that course.