Neuroscience Website


Chair, Professor BETTY ZIMMERBERG (First Semester)
Professor STEVEN ZOTTOLI (Second Semester)

Advisory Committee: Professors: P. SOLOMON**, H. WILLIAMS*, ZIMMERBERG***, ZOTTOLI. Assistant Professors: HUTSON, N. SANDSTROM.

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 are required to take two courses, Biology 101 and Psychology 101, as part of the program.

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 other neuroscience related courses upon approval of the advisory committee. 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.


Biology 101 The Cell

Psychology 101 Introductory Psychology

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

Neuroscience 201 Neuroscience

Neuroscience 401 Topics in Neuroscience


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.

  1. Group A
  2. Biology 204 Animal Behavior
  3. Biology 205 Physiology
  4. Biology 303 Sensory Biology
  5. Biology 304 Neurobiology
  6. Biology 310 Neural Development
  7. Biology 410 Cell Dynamics in Living Systems
  8. Group B
  9. Psychology 312 Drugs and Behavior
  10. Psychology 315 Hormones and Behavior
  11. Psychology 316 Clinical Neuroscience
  12. Psychology 317T Nature versus Nurture: Controversies in Developmental Psychobiology
  13. Psychology 362 Psychoneuroimmunology