Nov 27, 2022  
2016-2017 Catalogue 
2016-2017 Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Neuroscience, Cellular Neurophysiology - BCMB Track, B.A.

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Amy Jo Stavnezer, Chair
Grit Herzmann (Sem. I)
Seth Kelly (Sem. I)
John Neuhoff (Sem. II)
Michael Peterson
Laura Sirot (Sem. II)

Neuroscience is an exceptionally diverse and interdisciplinary field that incorporates aspects of biology, psychology, chemistry, philosophy, computer science, and other disciplines in the study of the nervous system. Neuroscientists seek to understand the function of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system at multiple levels, from the complex processes that occur in single neurons to the expansive cellular networks that ultimately give rise to perception, emotion, cognition, and even social behavior. Though Neuroscience research as a whole is broad and farreaching, each individual scientist is an expert in one, or just a few, sub-disciplines and methodologies, asking pointed questions that inform the larger picture. Our Neuroscience Program, therefore, consists of three separate tracks with a common core curriculum consisting of seven required foundational courses. Majors will understand the broad reaching questions and interdiciplinarity in the pursuit of knowledge related to the nervous system, but will focus their methodological pursuits in one particular scientific discipline. Students will then choose from a variety of upper level electives and enroll in Junior and Senior IS within the department associated with their track, Biology, BCMB or Psychology.

The goals of the Neuroscience Program are to provide students with the essential foundational knowledge, skills, confidence and research experiences that will allow them to identify and meet their intellectual and professional goals. Core areas of understanding will include, but are not limited to, neuroanatomy, neuronal physiology, the influence of development, genetics and environment on the central nervous system, the behavioral and physiological effects of pharmacological agents, the impact of stress, disease and aging on behavior and the brain, and the underlying cellular processes of learning, memory and retrieval of information. In each track, students will master methodology and experimental techniques relevant to the areas of Neuroscience they find most engaging. Students will apply critical thinking and problem solving skills on both their specific research projects and also the larger challenges facing the field of Neuroscience. In addition, it will produce liberally educated scientists who are well-versed in scientific methodology and its application, who possess a thorough knowledge of fundamental neuroscientific concepts, and who are able to express themselves with clarity, both orally and in writing.

Special Notes

  • Junior Independent Study (Cognitive Behavioral Neuroscience): The College requirement of a unit of Independent Study in the junior year is satisfied by PSYC 32100 , PSYC 32200 , PSYC 32300 , PSYC 32400  or PSYC 33500  (in addition to the core requirement of PSYC 32300  or PSYC 32400 ) prior to Senior Independent Study.
  • Cognitive Behavioral track majors must complete two laboratory courses in Psychology before their senior year. PSYC 32300  or PSYC 32400  is required, however the one that does not count towards the major requirements can be taken as an elective and count as one of the four upper level electives.
  • See Chemistry Department information on placement exams for CHEM 11100 /CHEM 11200 .
  • First year students are advised to complete all 100-level courses and at least one 200-level course by the end of the first year.
  • The Core courses (not including NEUR 38500 ) and at least one elective specific to your track must be completed by the end of the Junior year.
  • For those in the Cognitive Neuroscience track, BIOL 35200 , and BIOL 37700  require BIOL 20200  as a prerequisite.
  • The laboratory and classroom components are closely integrated in the upperlevel Biology and Psychology courses and must therefore be taken concurrently. The course and laboratory grades will be identical and are based on performance in both components; the relative weights of the two components are stated in each course syllabus.
  • Students, depending upon their track, are also encouraged to take the following courses, which are requirements for many graduate, medical and other pre-professional programs: CHEM 21100  and CHEM 21200  (Organic Chemistry sequence), CHEM 33100 and 33200 (Biochemistry sequence), PHYS 20300, and MATH 11100  (OR both MATH 10700  and MATH 10800 ).
  • Cognitive Behavioral track majors may not double major with Psychology or Biology; Neurobiology and Cellular Neurophysiology track majors may not double major with Biology, BCMB or Chemistry.
  • No minor in Neuroscience is offered.
  • Only grades of C- or better are accepted for the major, with the exception of PSYC 25000  that requires a C or better.

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