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Neuroscience Advising Tips

Neuroscience Advising Tips

  1. It is recommended that students in this major start with BIO 110, BIO 112, and PSY 210 as these courses are prerequisites for Neuroscience students to take the neuroscience-related courses in the Psychology department without taking PSY 100 (Introduction to Psychology), which does not count toward the Neuroscience major.
  1. After completing PSY 210, Neuroscience students may take other Psychology courses without first completing PSY 100. Students are strongly encouraged to take BIO 242, BIO 225, PSY 200, PSY 210, CSC 106 (or CSC 103) as early as possible, preferably in the sophomore year.
  1. BIO 242 is a prerequisite for BIO362 & 363.
  1. CSC 106 is preferred over CSC 103, but both satisfy the same requirement.
  1. Students are should take CHM 101 prior to taking BIO 225.
  1. Cognitive Track majors should take senior seminars in the Psychology department, and Bioscience Track majors should take senior seminars in the Biology department.
  1. Courses taken outside of Union College will not be counted toward the major. However, exceptions can be made under extenuating circumstances on an ad-hoc basis. To receive Neuroscience credit for courses taken elsewhere, students must contact the program director(s) to request permission, and the courses must match a Union course or have similar neuroscience content to Union courses that do receive credit.
  1. Students cannot double major in Biology and Neuroscience, or Psychology and Neuroscience.

 

From the catalog:

The major in neuroscience is designed for students with interests that intersect the fields of biology and psychology. Neuroscience focuses on the relationships among brain function, cognitive processing, and behavior. Researchers in this field come from widely disparate backgrounds, including cognitive psychology, clinical neuropsychology, neuroimaging, neurobiology, neuroethology, bio-psychology, physiology, neurology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, philosophy, genetics, and computer science. Thus, research questions are considered from many different levels, and many different converging methodologies are used.

The neuroscience major consists of three tracks: the bioscience track, the cognitive track, and a computational track. The bioscience track focuses on the biological basis of neural development, function, and plasticity. Students will develop an understanding of the nervous system and its role in cognition, perception, and action at the molecular, cellular, and systems level. The cognitive track provides students with an understanding of how neural networks and brain mechanisms give rise to specific mental processes and behavior. The Computational track focuses on issues related to developing computational models of neuronal and mental processes. Students will develop an understanding of artificial intelligence that uses biologically plausible methods.

Majors:

The neuroscience major consists of four parts: (1) a core of required courses that all majors must take; (2) required courses in one of the three tracks (bioscience, cognitive, or computational); (3) a general elective; (4) a senior writing requirement. Unless noted below, course descriptions are listed under their home departments. It is not possible to be an interdepartmental major in Neuroscience.

  1. Required courses for all neuroscience majors:

BIO 110 – Heredity, Evolution, and Ecology
BIO 112 – Physiology of Cells and Organisms
BIO 225 – Molecular Biology of the Cell
BIO 242 – Neurobiology
PHL 265 -Minds and Machines
PSY 200 – Statistical Methods in Psychology
PSY 210 – Behavioral Neuroscience
PSY 220 – Attention and Memory
CSC 103 – Taming Big Data: Introduction to Computer Science
or
CSC 106 – Can Computers Think? Introduction to Computer Science

  1. Required and cognate courses in one of three tracks:

Bioscience Track

Required:

BIO 362 – Experimental Neurobiology or BIO 363 – Cellular Neurosciences

And any one of the following:

BIO 325 – Animal Behavior
BIO 350 – Evolutionary Biology
BIO 362 – Experimental Neurobiology
BIO 363 – Cellular Neurosciences
BIO 365 – Neural Circuits and Behavior
BIO 370 – General Endocrinology
BIO 384 – Genetics and Molecular Biology
PSY 310 – Cognitive Neuroscience w/Lab

Students must also take the following cognate courses:

CHM 101 – Introductory Chemistry I
CHM 102 – Introductory Chemistry II
MTH 110 – Calculus 1: Differential Calculus, or MTH 112 – Calculus 2: Integral Calculus, or MTH 113 – AP Calculus, or MTH 115 – Calculus 3: Differential Vector Calculus and Matrix Theory, or MTH 117 – Calculus 4: Integral Vector Calculus, or MTH 197 – Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science, or MTH 199 – Introduction to Logic and Set Theory

Note: MTH 112 and one term of physics are recommended.

Cognitive track

required:

PSY 310 – Cognitive Neuroscience w/Lab

And any one of the following:

BIO 325 – Animal Behavior
CSC 320 – Artificial Intelligence
PSY 213 – Clinical Neuropsychology
PSY 222 – Judgment and Decision Making
PSY 313 – (211) Sensation and Perception
PSY 410 – Seminar in Brain and Behavior

Students must also take the following cognate courses:

CHM 101 – Introductory Chemistry I
PSY 300 – Research Methods in Psychology
MTH 110 – Calculus 1: Differential Calculus, or MTH 112 – Calculus 2: Integral Calculus, or MTH 113 – AP Calculus, or MTH 115 – Calculus 3: Differential Vector Calculus and Matrix Theory, or MTH 117 – Calculus 4: Integral Vector Calculus, or MTH 197 – Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science, or MTH 199 -Introduction to Logic and Set Theory

Note: MTH 112 and one term of physics are recommended.

Computational Track

Any TWO from the following list:

CSC 206 – Natural Language Processing
CSC 234 – Data Visualization
CSC 235 – Modeling & Simulation
CSC 243 – Bioinformatics: Information Technology in the Life Sciences
CSC 320 – Artificial Intelligence
CSC 321 – Data Mining and Machine Learning
CSC 325 – Robotics
CSC 329 – Neural Networks
PHL 442 – Advanced Logic
PHL 462 – Philosophy of Language

Students must also take the following cognate courses:

CSC 150 – Data Structures
MTH 110 – Calculus 1: Differential Calculus, or MTH 112 – Calculus 2: Integral Calculus, or MTH 113 – AP Calculus, or MTH 115 – Calculus 3: Differential Vector Calculus and Matrix Theory, or MTH 117 – Calculus 4: Integral Vector Calculus, or MTH 197 – Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science, or MTH 197 – Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science, or MTH 199 -Introduction to Logic and Set Theory

Note: MTH 112, CHM 101, and one term of physics are recommended.

  1. Elective. ONE additional course from the following list:

BIO 264 (Epigenetics, Development, and Diseases)
BIO 325 (Animal Behavior)
Biology 330 (Comparative Animal Physiology
BIO 332 (Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy)
BIO 350 (Evolutionary Biology)
BIO 354 (Developmental Biology)
BIO 362 (Neurobiology)
BIO 363 (Introduction to Cellular Neuroscience)
BIO 365 (Neural Circuits and Behavior)
BIO 370 (Endocrinology)
BIO 380 (Biochemistry: Membranes, Nucleic Acids, and Carbohydrates)
BIO 384 (Molecular Genetics)

CSC 206 (Natural Language Processing)
CSC 234 (Data Visualization)
CSC 235 (Modeling & Simulation)
CSC 243 (Bioinformatics: Information Technology in the Life Sciences)
CSC 320 (Artificial Intelligence)
CSC 321 (Data Mining and Machine Learning)
CSC 325 (Robotics)
CSC 329 (Neural Networks)
ECE 487 (Medical Imaging Systems)
MTH 128 (Probability);

PSY 213 (Clinical Neuropsychology)
PSY 215 (Introduction to Health Psychology)
PSY 221 (Psychology of Learning)
PSY 222 – Judgment and Decision Making
PSY 225 (Psychology of Language)
PSY 240 (Developmental Psychology)
PSY 250 (Abnormal Psychology)
PSY 300 (Research Methods in Psychology)
PSY 310 (Cognitive Neuroscience w/Lab)
PSY 313 (Sensation and Perception)
PSY 331 (Psychology of Emotion)
PSY 352 (Psychological Assessment and Testing)
PSY 402-404 (Honors Topic Colloquium)
PSY 410 (Seminar in Brain and Behavior)
PSY 411 (Seminar in Clinical Neuropsychology)
PSY 420 (Seminar in Learning and Memory)
PSY 422 (Communicating Psychological Science_

  1. Senior writing requirement (either a or b)

(a) One of the following senior seminars:

BIO 487 – Senior Writing Seminar: Topics in Ecological and Evolutionary Biology
BIO 488 – Senior Writing Seminar: Topics in Organismal and Physiological Biology
BIO 489 – Senior Writing Seminar: Topics in Cellular and Molecular Biology
PSY 410 – Seminar in Brain and Behavior
PSY 411 – Seminar in Clinical Neuropsychology
PSY 420 – Seminar in Learning and Memory
PSY 422 – Communicating Psychological Science

(b) A two or three term senior thesis.

Students must register for senior thesis courses in the department of their thesis advisor:

Biology thesis advisors:

BIO 497 – Honors Research I
BIO 498 – Honors Research II
BIO 499 – Honors Research III

Psychology thesis advisors:

PSY 498 – Psychology Thesis 1
PSY 499 – Psychology Thesis 2

or

PSY 487 – Psychology 3 Term Thesis – 1
PSY 488 – Psychology 3 Term Thesis – 2
PSY 489 – Psychology 3 Term Thesis – 3

Computer Science thesis advisors:

CSC 497 – Computer Science Capstone Seminar
CSC 498 – Computer Science Capstone Project
CSC 499 – Computer Science Capstone Project

Thesis advisors from other departments:

Please contact the Neuroscience program director(s) first.

Minors:

Requirements for the Minor: Six courses listed in sections 1, 2a, or 2b above with at least one course from 2a and one course from 2b. For Biology majors at least four of these courses must come from the cognitive and/or computational tracks. For Psychology majors, at least four of these courses must come from the bioscience and/or computational tracks. For Computer Science majors, at least four of these courses must come from the bioscience and/or cognitive tracks.

Requirements for Honors: In addition to fulfilling college-wide honors requirements, to earn honors in neuroscience, a student must earn a minimum grade point average of 3.3 in the major (including thesis grades, but not including the cognate courses, or more than one term of independent study), a minimum of three grades of A or A- in courses in the major exclusive of the thesis, and satisfactory completion of a senior thesis with a minimum grade of A-.

Director: Q. Chu-LaGraff (Biological Sciences)

Faculty: L. Fleishman, R. Olberg, S. Kirkton, B. Cohen (Biological Sciences), D. Burns, C. Weisse, Dave Hayes, C. Anderson-Hanley, S. Romero (Psychology), C. Fernandes, J. Rieffel, K. Striegnitz, N. Webb (Computer Science), T. Buma (Electrical and Computer Engineering), J. Wang (Mathematics)