Neuroscience Website

(Div. III)

Chair, Professor BETTY ZIMMERBERG (First Semester)
Professor HEATHER WILLIAMS (Second Semester)

Advisory Committee: Professors: DEWITT, G. GOETHALS, P. SOLOMON***, H. WILLIAMS**, ZIMMERBERG*, ZOTTOLI. Assistant Professor: ADLER.

Neuroscience is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field concerned with understanding the relationship between brain, mind, and behavior. The interdisciplinary nature of the field is apparent when surveying those who call themselves neuroscientists. Among these are anatomists, physiologists, chemists, psychologists, philosophers, computer scientists, linguists, and ethologists. The areas that neuroscience addresses are equally diverse and range from physiological and molecular studies of single neurons, to investigations of how systems of neurons produce phenomena such as vision and movement, to the study of the neural basis of complex cognitive phenomena such as memory, language, and consciousness. Applications of neuroscience research are rapidly growing and include the development of drugs to treat neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, the development of noninvasive techniques for imaging the human brain such as PET scans and MRI, and the development of methods for repair of the damaged human brain such as the use of brain explants. Combining this wide range of disciplines, areas of research, and application for the study of a single remarkably complex organ-the brain-requires a unique interdisciplinary approach. The Neuroscience Program is designed to provide students with the opportunity to explore this approach.


The program in neuroscience consists of five courses including an introductory course, three electives, and a senior course. In addition, students will be required to take two courses, Biology 101 and Psychology 101, as prerequisites to the program.

Introduction to Neuroscience (Neuroscience 201) is the basic course and provides the background for other neuroscience courses. Ideally, this will be taken before the end of sophomore year. Either Biology 101 or Psychology 101 serves as the prerequisite. Electives are designed to provide in-depth coverage including laboratory experience in specific areas of neuroscience. At least one elective course is required in Biology (Group A) and one in Psychology (Group B). The third elective course may also come from Group A or Group B, or may be selected from offerings from other departments. Topics in Neuroscience (Neuroscience 401) is designed to provide an integrative culminating experience. Most students will take this course in the senior year.


The degree with honors in Neuroscience provides students with the opportunity to undertake an original research project under the supervision of one or more of the Neuroscience faculty. In addition to completing the requirements of the Neuroscience Program, candidates for an honors degree must enroll in Neuroscience 493-W031-494 and write a thesis based on an original research project. Presentation of a thesis, however, should not be interpreted as a guarantee of a degree with honors. Students interested in pursuing a degree with honors should contact the Neuroscience Advisory Committee in the spring of their junior year.


Neuroscience 201 Introduction to Neuroscience

Neuroscience 401 Topics in Neuroscience


Biology 101 The Cell

Psychology 101 Introductory Psychology

(Both courses should be completed by the end of the sophomore year.)


Three elective courses are required. At least one elective must be from Group A and at least one elective must be from Group B. The third elective may come from either Group A or Group B or the student may wish to petition the advisory committee to substitute a related course from another department.

  1. Group A
  2. Biology 204 Animal Behavior
  3. Biology 205 Physiology
  4. Biology 304 Neurobiology
  5. Biology 411 Plasticity in the Nervous System
  6. Group B
  7. Psychology 312 Drugs and Behavior
  8. Psychology 313 Human Neuropsychology
  9. Psychology 314T Left Brain, Right Brain-The Great Divide? (Deleted 2000-2001)
  10. Psychology 315 Hormones and Behavior
  11. Psychology 316 Clinical Neuroscience
  12. Psychology 318 Neural Systems and Behavior
  13. Psychology 362 Psychoneuroimmunology

Some examples of related courses that have been accepted as electives in previous years are:

  1. Biology 202 Genetics
  2. Biology 301 Developmental Biology
  3. Biology 306 Advanced Molecular Genetics
  4. Computer Science 373 Artificial Intelligence
  5. Psychology 252 Psychological Disorders