Neuroscience and Behavior Program

Professors: N. Jay Bean, Carol Christensen, Janet Gray, John H. Long, Kathleen M. Susman (Director), Robert Suter; Associate Professors: Jeffrey Cynx, Richard Hemmes, William Straus; Assistant Professors: J. Mark Cleaveland, Kevin Holloway.

Neuroscience and Behavior is an interdisciplinary program which applies the perspectives and techniques of both biology and psychology to the study of the brain and behavior. Neuroscientists are interested in how the interactions of brain, body, and environment contribute to animal (including human) behavior. Neuroscientists study the structure and function of the nervous system, the development and evolution of neural and behavioral systems, and interactions among behavior, environment, physiology, and heredity.

This program is ideal for those students with interests in the biological and psychological sciences. A concentration in Neuroscience and Behavior can prepare students for graduate study in biology, psychology, or the neurosciences.

Requirements for Concentration: 13 units; all students must take:

Biology 105. Introduction to Biological Processes (1)

Biology 106. Introduction to Biological Investigation (1)

Psychology 105. or 106 Introduction to Psychology (1)

Psychology 200. Statistics and Experimental Design (1)

Psychology 241. or 243 Physiological Psychology or Neuropsychology (1)

Psychology 229. or 249 Research Methods in Learning and Behavior or Research Methods in Physiological Psychology (1)

Neuroscience and Behavior 201. Neuroscience and Behavior (1)

Neuroscience and Behavior 301. Seminar in Neuroscience and Behavior (1)

After consultation with the major adviser, five other courses not taken as Required Courses (see list above) should be chosen from the following list. Three of these courses should be at the 300-level. Of these three courses at the 300-level, at least one should be from the biology department and one from the psychology department. No course beyond the 100-level taken NRO can be counted toward the requirements of the major.

Approved Courses


Psychology 211. Perception and Action (1)

Psychology 213. Language (1)

Psychology 215. Knowledge and Cognition (1)

Psychology 221. Learning and Behavior (1)

Psychology 223. Comparative Psychology (1)

Psychology 229. Research Methods in Learning and Behavior (1)

Psychology 249. Research Methods in Physiological Psychology (1)

Psychology 262. Abnormal Psychology (1)

Psychology 264. Behavioral Genetics (1)

Biology 226. Animal Structure and Diversity (1)

Biology 228. Animal Physiology (1)

Biology 232. Developmental Biology (1)

Biology 238. Principles of Genetics (1)

Biology 272. Biochemistry (1)


Entry into particular 300-level courses may be constrained by prerequisites: see course descriptions for the individual courses listed under Biology and Psychology.

Psychology 300. Advanced Methods of Statistical Analysis (1)

Psychology 321. Seminar in Animal Learning and Behavior (1)

Psychology 323. Seminar in Comparative Psychology (1)

Psychology 341. Seminar in Physiological Psychology (1)

Psychology 343. Seminar on States of Consciousness (1)

Biology 316. Neurobiology (1)

Biology 323. Cell Biology (1)

Biology 324. Molecular Biology (1)

Biology 340. Animal Behavior (1)

Biology 350. Evolutionary Biology (1)

Recommendations: Students are strongly recommended to complete Chemistry 108-109 and 244-245 and would benefit greatly from coursework in mathematics, physics, and computer science. Students are advised to take in their freshman year: Biology 105, Biology 106, and Psychology 105 or 106.

Course Descriptions

See biology and psychology.

201. Neuroscience and Behavior (1)

A multidisciplinary approach to the methods, issues, empirical findings and neuroscience and behavior literature. The course explores selected topics from a variety of theoretical and empirical models, from behavioral, evolutionary, social/environmental, physiological and cellular/molecular levels of analysis. The ways in which the different methods of analysis inform each other are a focus of the course. Neuroscience and Behavior faculty.

Prerequisites: Biology 105, Biology 106, Psychology 105, and Psychology 241 or 243.

Two 75-minute periods, one 4-hour laboratory.

290. Fieldwork ( 1/2 or 1)

By permission of the adviser and the instructor who supervises the work.

298. Independent Work ( 1/2 or 1)

By permission of the adviser and the instructor who supervises the work. Library, field or laboratory projects. By permission of the Neuroscience and Behavior faculty.

301. Seminar in Neuroscience and Behavior (1)

Explorations in the primary literature of topics to be selected annually. Neuroscience and Behavior faculty.

Prerequisite: by permission of instructor.

399. Senior Independent Work ( 1/2 or 1)

By permission of the adviser and the instructor who supervises the work. Library, field, or laboratory projects, by permission of the Neuroscience and Behavior faculty.