Dr. Gillian Einstein currently teaches courses at the University of Toronto related to neuroscience and psychology, health and illness, and sex and gender.
PSY333: Health Psychology
Health Psychology is the study of the psychology of wellness and illness, psychological interactions between the patient and the provider, the patient and the health care system, and between the providers within the health care system. Health Psychology draws on the biomedical and the bio-psycho-social models to contribute to our ideas about physical well-being, the role of culture in establishing and instantiating health behaviors and beliefs, and interactions with biomedical technology to shift the burden of death and disease. Its natural corollary is the field of mind-body medicine.
In this course we will use a combination of a text—Taylor & Sirois (3rd Edition – 2014), Health Psychology: A Canadian Edition—papers from the literature, videos, and guest lecturers to achieve active learning about the field. Students are expected to attend class and participate actively in discussion.
PSY495H1: Sex and the Brain
This course explores the scientific literature underlying the concept that female/male, gay/straight, and transgendered behaviors are based on brain differences. Original scientific papers will be read in close detail for design and interpretation of the experiments. The goal is to gain an understanding of the science underlying sex/gender differences, popular conceptions of sex, and the identification of the sexual brain.
- Sexual differentiation
- Estrogens and androgens
- Connection of the brain with the rest of the body (HPG Axis)
- Relationship between brain and sexual behaviors
- Sex differences and cognition
- Sex and sexuality/gender identification
CHL5109: Gender and Health
This course serves as the Core Course for the Collaborative Program in Women’s Health and, as such it considers gender and health in the historical context of women’s health.
The evolution of the field of Gender and Health from the Women’s Health Movement is considered. The contributions of both sex and gender to health are critically examined and the value of separating and uniting the two, discussed.
We consider select topics such as the history of women’s health, sexual differentiation, select diseases and conditions more common in women, evidence based medicine and ignorance, masculine practices in health care seeking, embodiment, and how the social (gender) can become biological (sex).
The course aims to foster the development of critical and innovative approaches to the understanding health through a multidisciplinary approach to the literature and by merging the social with the biological.
PSY5112: Sex Differences in Brain and Behaviour
This course will engage with the historic and contemporary literature in the field of Hormones and Behaviour following the development of the field from Beach’s early rodent studies to current studies using brain imaging to identify differences in gay, straight, and transgendered human brains. Primarily dealing with central nervous system anatomy and its relationship to sexually dimorphic behaviours, this course emphasizes the role of steroid hormones and experience in shaping differences in behaviour, cognition, and identity. In following this field into the present, students will gain an appreciation for changing norms in research, how a field of scientific knowledge develops, sex differences in the brain, and the role of steroid hormones in shaping cognition, mental health, and neurological disorders. Students will present papers in the text as well as of their own choosing.
On successful completion of the course students will be able to:
- appreciate how a field of scientific knowledge develops,
- understand changing norms in one area of neuroscience research,
- be familiar with sex differences in the brain and in behaviour,
- learn about the role of steroid hormones and genes in shaping cognition, mental health, and neurological disorders
- know how to design an experiment to study sex differences