PEP016: Hormones & Behavior

– 45 CEs, Course Fee $750

Presented by Richard A. Sherman, Ph.D.

Richard A. Sherman

Richard A. Sherman

M.S., Ph.D. (Program Director)

Course Concept and Description:

This course is the equivalent of a three credit course and provides 45 hours of CE credit. Students learn by watching audiovisual lectures, reading assignments from materials provided on the course web site and standard texts, and interacting with their instructor via e-mail. They answer short essay questions after each lecture rather than taking exams. Previous students have found that this course takes between 45 and 95 hours of actual work to complete.

This course explores the manifold ways the brain and body work together to produce behavior and the cycle between behavior and physiology. The course begins with a description of the body’s organizational structure and genetics as related to behavior. The basic physiological ways information is received from the external and internal environments through a variety of sensors and then processed by the hormonal / nervous system are described. Typical psychophysiological dysfunctions and interventions are also described.  You should have taken undergraduate biology and psychology before taking this course.

Learning Objectives:

Students will understand how the field relates to human activities, evolution and Behavioral Genetics – evolution of behavior and communication, genetics of behavior, anatomy and physiology of the Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems, hormones and behavior – pheromones, sex, nerve – hormone interactions, mechanisms of Sensation/Perception – vision, hearing, touch (pain, electrical), smell, taste, balance/location, etc., motor control systems, eating and drinking disorders, biological rhythms and sleep, mechanisms of drug addiction,  learning, Language, and Memory, the Malfunctioning Brain, emotions – stress, aggression, mental illness, and psychophysiological dysfunctions and interventions. They will learn to integrate these principles into their patient interactions to improve clinical outcomes.


Home study supported by e-mail chats after each unit is completed. The lecture portion of the course is presented through a series of audiovisual lectures profusely illustrated by power-point slides. Reading assignments in the Pinel book parallel the lectures. There are no lectures for a few of the topics. After watching the lecture and reading the chapters, you will answer a brief series of questions. The answered questions are then e-mailed to the instructor. You and the instructor will discuss each unit via e-mail chat after your answers are assessed.

Accessing course materials:

Course materials will be sent to your email address through either “transfer large files” or “Dropbox” after your payment for the course is processed. This may take several days. No CDs are sent to you.

Computer and Computer Knowledge Requirements:

Anybody with a modern computer and a bit of basic understanding of computer operation (at the level of being able to send e-mails) can play this course with minimal problems. You must have a computer (a) capable of connecting to the internet and running a typical internet program, (b) containing/running a modern word processor such as Microsoft word or Word Perfect, (c) the capability to play sounds such as music (has speakers and appropriate software which normally come with any modern computer), and (d) a slide viewing program such as Power Point (you can probably get a slide viewing program free off the internet if you don’t have one). Any modern (e.g., built within the last ten years), IBM style computer running Windows 98 and more recent platforms (e.g., XP or Windows 8) should be able to do this. Speed, hard disk size, and RAM are not factors for computers in the above category.

Dozens of students have used recent Apple products (MACs etc.) for the course however they frequently have more difficulty playing the course materials than PC users do.

If you are using a MAC type of computer, you must have a current version of “quicktime”. If you do not have it, you can download it for free from the web.


The course is given by Dr. Richard Sherman, Ph.D.  He is certified by BCIA, approved by BCIA to teach the general biofeedback certification course, and currently teaches A&P, Pelvic floor disorders, pain, and other courses. He is a professional psychophysiologist with extensive training (his Ph.D. is in biology & psychology), has nearly 30 years of experience in the field, and has published over 130 books, chapters, and articles (mostly in peer reviewed journals). Dr. Sherman is Director of the psychophysiology doctoral specialization at Saybrook University and has held many positions within the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback including president. Full CV available upon request and on the course web site.

Required Text: Cost of the text is not included in the cost of the course.

The text can be purchased on our web site www.behavmedfoundation.org.

Pinel, John P.J., Biopsychology – 6th or 7th edition.  2005 / 7; Published by Pearson of Boston & New York.ISBN 0-205-42651-4. You may also use the 5th edition (2003) Needham Heights, MA:  Allyn, & Bacon ,ISBN 0-205-34984-6.

Topics we will cover (Note: Each topic corresponds to one set of review questions.):

1. Definitions and Concepts – what is this field and how does it relate to the rest of the world? (Lecture 1; Pinel chapter 1)

2. Credibility of Information – research techniques, recognizing bad science (Lectures 2, 2.1, 2.2; Pinel chapters 1 and 5)

3. Evolution and Behavioral Genetics – evolution of behavior and communication, genetics of behavior (Lecture 2.6; Pinel chapter 2)

4. Anatomy and Physiology of the Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems – stomach brain, plastic homunculus  (Lectures 3, 3.1, 3.2; Pinel chapters 3, 4, 8, 9, and 10)

5. Hormones and Behavior – pheromones, sex, nerve – hormone interactions (Lecture 3.6; Pinel chapter 13)

6. Mechanisms of Sensation/Perception – vision, hearing, touch (pain, electrical), smell, taste, balance/location, etc. (Lectures 4, 4.1; Pinel chapters 6 & 7)

7. Motor control systems (Lecture 4.4; Pinel chapter 8)

8. Eating and Drinking – balance and disorders  (Lecture 4.6; Pinel chapter 12)

9. Biological Rhythms and Sleep (Lecture 4.8; Pinel chapter 14)

10. Drug Addiction (Lecture 5; Pinel chapter 15)

11. Learning, Language, and Memory  (Lecture 5.4; Pinel chapters 11 & 16)

12. The Malfunctioning Brain  (Lecture 5.6; Pinel chapters 10 & 18)

13. Emotions – stress, aggression, mental illness  (Lecture 6; Pinel chapters 17 and 18)

14. Psychophysiological interventions  (Lectures 9, 9.2, 9.4)

When all requirements have been successfully completed, your course completion certificate will be e-mailed to you and BCIA will be informed that you completed the course.


There is one year to complete the course. Just contact us at admin@behavmedfoundation.org or 800 530 6658 to get started.

Duration of course validity:

There is one year to complete the course. Courses not completed by that time are void and must be repurchased if still available. No refunds are provided for courses not completed within one year of purchase.

CE Credit:

These are continuing education, not university accredited, courses. The Behavioral Medicine R&T Foundation is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Behavioral Medicine R&T Foundation maintains responsibility for this program and its content.


This course is accepted by the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance for recertification continuing education.

Payment, Refund, Scholarship, and cancellation policies:  

Full payment for each course is required before access to the course is provided. Payment is by credit card though our web site’s secure ordering section or by check in US dollars made out to the Foundation and sent to the address below. Full refund will be made until students are given access to the course materials. After getting access to the course materials there is no refund at all as the Foundation has committed its resources to you and you have access to all of the course materials. A course would only be cancelled due to an extreme emergency on the part of the course instructor or the Foundation. In the highly unlikely event a course is cancelled, you would receive a full refund.


The Foundation gives scholarships consisting of 25% off the cost of the course(s) to (a) students and professionals (e.g. clinicians, coaches, teachers) from emerging nations and (b) full time graduate students in developed nations.

Course updates:

Updates to all courses are placed on the course web site as they are made. Students are informed when updates are available. 

Questions / further information?

Contact Dr. Richard Sherman (director of the psychophysiology CE and doctoral programs) at  admin@behavmedfoundation.org or 1.800.530.6658.

Administrative Information

Conflict of Interest: Neither the Behavioral Medicine Research & Training Foundation, its staff, nor the course instructor have any conflict of interest involving materials presented in this course.

Student comments about the courses and instructors:

Students who wish to comment about the courses and instructors other than through the “end of course” evaluations may wish to use the Foundation’s account at the anonymous comment submission site Incogneato (www.incognea.to). When a student submits a comment to our account (https://ansr.me/VWv70on the site, there is no way for us to know who sent the comment unless the student provides an email. Students are always welcome to submit comments to this site. We take them very seriously.

Students who wish to make a formal complaint about a course or instructor can do so by following the Foundation’s grievance process which is detailed in the document by that name. Students can request the document from the program’s administrator by emailing admin@behavmedfourndation.org.