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.
After taking a variety of common courses including biology, psychology, computer science and philosophy, neuroscience students select one of three tracks for specialization:
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. Students begin with the processes that have been traditionally studied in the area of cognitive psychology, but can tailor the program to include processing that is traditionally studied in developmental, social or clinical psychology as well.
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.