PSY 314 Behavioral Neuroscience
Relationship between the nervous system and behavior. Topics include sensation, sleep, language, learning, emotions, stress, and mental illness.
Behavioral neuroscience is an interdisciplinary major that explores the neural basis of behavior through psychology, chemistry, philosophy, molecular biology, cellular biology and many other disciplines. The relationship between the brain's function and behavior is examined at multiple levels of analysis, from how a cell functions to how a facial expression conveys trust or fear.
We emphasize research skills in our courses, and we use animals extensively to help you learn. Both core courses, "Behavioral Neuroscience" and "Psychopharmacology," have a lab requirement. Many students conduct individual studies to hone their research skills. The experience you gain will be invaluable as you prepare for medical school, graduate school or a research position.
The College's extensive programs can lead you across the United States and around the world. Many students conduct summer research internships. As a behavioral neuroscience major, you also have the chance to inspire others to learn about science with community events like the College's Kids Judge! Neuroscience Fair. You and your fellow students plan and create interactive demonstrations, games and crafts to teach elementary students how the brain works – and your projects are judged by them.
Behavioral neuroscience majors participate in the annual meetings of the Society for Neuroscience and NEURON, the Northeast Under/graduate Research Organization for Neuroscience. NEURON will put you in contact with undergraduates, grad students and faculty at many other institutions.
As a behavioral neuroscientist, Ruth Grahn's central interest is to investigate the mechanisms by which neural activity mediates behavior. She has taken an approach that is best described as functional neuroanatomy. How does activity in Brain Region X control or modulate Behavior Y?
Joseph Schroeder has a diverse background in psychology, neuroscience, cell biology, neuropathology and pharmacology. Understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of behavior has been the unifying theme of his research interests from the beginning of his career.
A: I was attracted to the vast study abroad opportunities, along with the diversity of academic options. I loved the idea of being part of a tight-knit community where students take initiative, host activities and put their ideas into action.
A: I was drawn to the interdisciplinary nature of the major. It combines biology, psychology, chemistry and even anthropology. I knew I liked science, but the brain in particular intrigued me, and I was interested in discovering how it governs human behavior. The major also encourages independent research with professors, which I took advantage of.
A: The workshops have given me the necessary tools and practice for networking, applying for jobs and presenting myself in a professional manner. My career adviser in particular has been beyond helpful in revising my resume and giving me advice on where to look for opportunities. I did my internship at Harvard in a memory research lab.