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Neuroscience

Professors Chambliss (Psychology), E.Dawley, Program Coordinator (Biology), Kohn (Biology); Associate Professors Bailey (Biology), Bish; Assistant Professor Favero (Biology), Stevenson (Psychology), Round (Biology).

Neuroscience is a rapidly expanding multidisciplinary field devoted to understanding the complex functioning of the nervous system. Neuroscience attempts to understand the neural substrates of both normal and abnormal patterns of behavior as well as mental events and mental states.

The Neuroscience major is designed for students interested in exploring how the nervous system contributes to thought, emotion, neuropathology, and behavior. This major integrates the multidisciplinary nature of the field by providing students with an interdisciplinary approach to the study of brain function, behavior, and the mind.

The courses in the neuroscience curriculum are selected from an array of disciplines. The following areas of study contribute to the interdisciplinary perspective of the major: biology, biochemistry and molecular biology, chemistry, computer science, exercise and sports science, philosophy, psychology, and physics.

Neuroscience majors will graduate with a Bachelor of Science that will prepare them for a career in government, industry, biomedical and medical settings or some combination of these. Neuroscience majors often pursue graduate work (at the M.A. or Ph.D. level) in behavioral neuroscience, biology, biochemistry, cognitive science, experimental psychology, neuroanatomy, neurobiology, neuropharmacology, neurophysiology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, toxicology, or medicine (e.g. M.D., D.O., D.P.M., M.D./Ph.D., D.V.M., Pharm.D., D.D.S., O.D., etc.). More recently, graduates with a B.S. in Neuroscience have found career paths in the field of human factors, academic research, pharmaceutical research, and with government agencies.

Requirements for Majors

To fulfill the requirements of the major, all students must complete a minimum of 56 semester hours in the neuroscience curriculum as outlined below. Neuroscience majors can fulfill the requirement for an oral presentation in the major by taking NEUR-481W, 482W, 491W, or 492W and the capstone requirement by taking NEUR-499.

I. Required Neuroscience Core: (16 semester hours)

(1) NEUR/PSYC-325

(2) NEUR/PSYC-335

(3) NEUR/BIO-431W or NEUR/BCMB/BIO-433W or NEUR/BIO-435W

(4) NEUR-499

II. Interdisciplinary foundation: (20 semester hours)

BIO-101Q, BIO-102Q, BIO 201W, and choose either a Chemistry Foundation (CHEM-105 and CHEM-105L and either CHEM-106 and CHEM-106L, or CHEM-206 and CHEM-206L) or a Physics Foundation (PHYS-111 and PHYS-112).

Students interested in a more traditional background to Neuroscience are encouraged to choose the Chemistry Foundation to fulfill the Interdisciplinary Foundation. Students interested in more mathematical aspects of Neuroscience (e.g. modeling, biomechanics, etc.) are encouraged to choose the Physics Foundation to fulfill the Interdisciplinary Foundation.

III. Laboratory Experience: (one semester hour)

Choice of BIO-232a, NEUR/PSYC-327, or NEUR/PSYC-337.

IV. Neuroscience Electives

Neuroscience majors must take a minimum of 15 credit hours of approved major elective courses. Majors are required to choose one course from each elective group (Psychology, Biology, and Breadth). The remaining credit hours may be filled by courses from any of the three elective groups. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the interdisciplinary nature of the neuroscience major and choose elective courses from the Breadth Group.

V. Research Experience: (four semester hours)

Choose between NEUR-381, NEUR-481W, NEUR-482W, NEUR-485, NEUR-486, NEUR-491W, or NEUR-492W.

VI. Recommended of all majors

MATH/STAT-141Q and MATH/STAT-243.

Neuroscience Electives

Breadth Group

   

NEUR-120Q

NEUR-350

BCMB-351

+ CHEM-106/106L

CHEM-205/205L

+ CHEM-206/206L

CS-173

DANC-340

ESS-351

MATH-235

MATH/PHIL-260

PHIL-274

PHIL-278

* PHIL-309

PHIL-364

PHIL-374

@PHYS-111

PHYS-209

Biology Group

Psychology Group

BIO-232

PSYC-260

BIO-305

PSYC-320

Either BIO-306 or BIO-349

PSYC-330

* BIO-350

PSYC-340

 

PSYC-345

 

PSYC-450

 

PSYC-480

Notes:

* (BIO-350, PHIL-309) may be used as a major elective when the topic(s) covered are related to Neuroscience. Approval of the Neuroscience Coordinator required.

+ A student taking CHEM-106/106L or CHEM-206/206L may not use the course to count as credit towards both the chemistry foundation and neuroscience electives.

@ A student taking PHYS-111 may not use the course to count as credit towards both the physics foundation and neuroscience electives.

Requirements for Minors

A minor concentration in neuroscience consists of 1) NEUR-120Q; AND 2) MATH-141Q or PSYC-110; AND 3) any three courses from the following list: PSYC-320, NEUR/PSYC-325, NEUR/PSYC-335, NEUR-350, NEUR/BIO-431W, NEUR/BIO/BCMB-433W, NEUR/BIO-435W, NEUR-381, NEUR-481W, NEUR-482W, NEUR-485, NEUR-486, NEUR-491, or NEUR-492W. Only one course from the following list can be applied to the minor: NEUR-381, NEUR-481W, NEUR-482W, NEUR-485, NEUR-486, NEUR-491, or NEUR-492W.

Special Career Interests

I. Students seeking admission to more experimental psychology related graduate programs should note the following:

  1. PSYC-110 and 210 are recommended.
  2. Two additional upper level (300-400) psychology courses germane to their area of interest/specialization are recommended. Students should consult with the Neuroscience Coordinator.

II. Students seeking admission to more biologically related graduate programs should note the following:

  1. A second year of chemistry is strongly recommended.
  2. A fifth course in chemistry is recommended.
  3. MATH/STAT-141Q; 242 or 243, and CS-173 are recommended.

III. Students seeking admission to schools of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry and podiatry should note the following:

  1. Two years of chemistry and one year of general physics for science majors are required by all of the above schools.
  2. Many schools also require one full year of English and some specify one or two semesters of calculus.
  3. Students and their advisers should consult the premedical handbook or one of the premedical advisers for requirements of specific schools.

IV. Students seeking admission to other health science programs, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, or physician’s assistant, should consult the allied health adviser.

V. Students who seek employment in a biologically oriented profession should note the following:

  1. MATH/STAT-141Q; 242 or 243, and CS-173 are strongly recommended.
  2. ECON-120 is recommended.
  3. Additional coursework in Media and Communication Studies is recommended.
  4. Additional coursework in English composition is recommended.

Courses

NEUR-120Q. The Brain and its Mind Dr. Bish, Dr. Favero, and Dr. Stevenson

An introduction to the study of brain and behavior. Topics discussed include brain structure and function and its connection to language, arts, and music as well as the neural basis of consciousness, thought, learning, and locomotion. Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to students with freshmen or sophomore standing. This course may be used to satisfy the laboratory science requirement. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (LS.)

Note: Students who have received credit for NEUR/PSYC-325 may not enroll in NEUR-120.

NEUR-301. Readings in Neuroscience Faculty

Individual study of one or more selected topics in the neuroscience literature, and preparation of an annotated bibliography of a detailed proposal for subsequent research. To register for this course, the student must have the consent of a member of the neuroscience faculty to serve as adviser. One semester hour.

NEUR/PSYC-325. Behavioral Neurosciences Dr. Bish

A study of the structure and function of the vertebrate nervous system, particularly of the neural substrates of behavior as well as cerebral lateralization of function. Topics include evolutionary, anatomical, and physiological approaches to the nervous system and behavior. Prerequisites: PSYC-100; BIO-101Q or permission of the instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS.)

Note: Students who have received credit for NEUR/PSYC-325 may not enroll in NEUR-120.

NEUR/PSYC-327. Neurosciences Laboratory Faculty

A study of nervous system structure and function emphasizing human electrophysiological signal recording and manipulation. Topics include gross neuroanatomy; electrophysiological signal characteristics, recording and analysis; and biofeedback programming. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Two hours per week. One semester hour.

NEUR/PSYC-335. Applied Cognitive Neuroscience Dr. Bish

A review of contemporary neuroscience research and theory with special attention to its interdisciplinary (psychology, biology, medicine, and engineering) and applied nature. Topics include robotics, electronic implants, virtual environments, eye movements, spatial orientation, body posture and balance, multisensory representations of space, and higher order cognitive deficits. Prerequisites: NEUR/PSYC-325 or BIO-305 or permission of the instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS.)

NEUR/PSYC-337. Applied Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory Dr. Bish

An experimental investigation of higher order cognitive function and the practical application of the experimental results. Topics include virtual and terrestrial navigation, eye movement recordings, three-dimensional analysis of body posture and balance, and object recognition and identification. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Two hours per week. One semester hour.

NEUR-350. Special Topics in Neuroscience Faculty

A special course offering intended to familiarize the student with the current trends and special topics in neuroscience. Emphasis will be given to the preparation and oral presentation of papers on selected topics as well as related laboratory experience (when applicable). Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours.

NEUR-381. Internship Faculty

An off-campus academic/work experience under the supervision of an internship adviser and an on-site supervisor. Contact Neuroscience Coordinator for further information. Open to juniors and seniors. The term during which the internship work is performed will be noted by one of the following letters, to be added immediately after the internship course number: A (fall), B (winter), C (spring), or D (summer). Internships undertaken abroad will be so indicated by the letter I. The intern must complete a minimum of 120 hours of work. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: 9 credit hours in neuroscience and approval of a faculty internship adviser. Three semester hours. (I.)

NEUR-382. Internship Faculty

An off-campus academic/work experience under the supervision of an internship adviser and an on-site supervisor. Contact Neuroscience Coordinator for further information. Open to juniors and seniors. The term during which the internship work is performed will be noted by one of the following letters, to be added immediately after the internship course number: A (fall), B (winter), C (spring), or D (summer). Internships undertaken abroad will be so indicated by the letter I. The intern must complete a minimum of 160 hours of work. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: 9 credit hours in neuroscience and approval of a faculty internship adviser. Four semester hours. (I.)

NEUR-391. Directed Research Faculty

An introduction to the nature of neuroscience research. A laboratory experience under the direction of a neuroscience faculty member and designed to introduce students to fundamental research procedures and data manipulation in the context of an original research project. Prerequisites: Permission of a member of the neuroscience faculty to serve as adviser. Three hours of laboratory per week. Graded S/U. One semester hour.

NEUR-392. Directed Research Faculty

Content as in NEUR-391, but offered in the spring term. Prerequisites: Permission of a member of the neuroscience faculty to serve as adviser. Three hours of laboratory per week. Graded S/U. One semester hour.

NEUR/BIO-431W. Cellular Neurobiology Faculty

A study of neuron structure and function. The course includes excitable cell membranes, ion channels, synapses, sensory receptors, neuronal integration, neuromuscular systems, coding of neural information, and computer simulation of neural systems. Prerequisites: BIO-201W; or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture; three hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (LS.)

NEUR/BCMB/BIO-433W. Molecular Neurobiology Dr. Kohn

A study of the cellular and molecular basis of neuronal function. The course includes properties of neurons, release of neurotransmitters, receptors in synaptic transmission, effects of drugs, synaptic plasticity, and neurological disorders. Prerequisites: BIO-201W; or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture; three hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (LS.)

NEUR/BIO-435W. Developmental Neurobiology Dr. Favero

An investigation of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying nervous system development. This course will discuss nervous system organization, neural cell fate, axon and synapse formation, neurological conditions, and research techniques in the context of a variety of animal models. Laboratory work will emphasize cooperative problem-solving and hypothesis-driven experimental design to analyze nervous system development and behavior. Prerequisites: NEUR-120 and BIO-201W; or permission of the instructor. Three hours of lecture; three hours of laboratory per week. Four semester hours. (LS.)

NEUR-481W. Independent Research in Neuroscience Faculty

Investigations of an experimental, clinical, or theoretical nature pursued independently by the student. The preparation of a written and oral scientific report is required. To register for the course, a student must have the consent of a participating neuroscience faculty member to serve as research adviser. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing, and permission of a member of the neuroscience faculty to serve as research adviser. Four semester hours. (I.)

NEUR-482W. Independent Research in Neuroscience Faculty

Content as in NEUR-481W, but offered in the spring term. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing, and permission of a member of the neuroscience faculty to serve as research adviser. Four semester hours. (I.)

NEUR-485. Off-campus Research Faculty

An approved, off-campus clinical or laboratory research experience supervised by a neuroscience faculty adviser and an on-site supervisor. Approved projects result in the preparation of a final written thesis and an oral presentation of its results before a faculty/student colloquium. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing and permission of a member of the neuroscience faculty to serve as research adviser. Eleven to fourteen hours per week. Graded S/U. Four semester hours. (I.)

Note: Students having received credit for NEUR-381 may not receive credit for NEUR-485.

NEUR-486. Off-campus Research Faculty

Content as in NEUR-485. This course continues the original work begun in NEUR-485. Prerequisites: NEUR-485, junior or senior standing and permission of a member of the neuroscience faculty to serve as research adviser. Graded S/U. Four semester hours.

Note : Students having received credit for NEUR-381 may not receive credit for NEUR-486

NEUR-491W. Honors Research in Neuroscience Faculty

This course is open to candidates for Neuroscience Honors. The content is the same as in NEUR-481. The preparation of a written and oral scientific report is required. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing, and permission of a member of the neuroscience faculty to serve as research adviser. Four semester hours. (I.)

NEUR-492W. Honors Research in Neuroscience Faculty

A continuation of NEUR-491. Prerequisite: NEUR-491 and permission of a member of the neuroscience faculty to serve as research adviser. Four semester hours. (I.)

NEUR-499. Neuroscience Capstone Colloquium Dr. Bish

This colloquium is designed as an integrating experience for graduating Neuroscience majors. The neuroscience faculty and students will examine how the foundations of neuroscience weave through the vast array of interdisciplinary courses offered in the major. Special attention will also be paid to current issues from the neuroscience literature and the impact of these research findings on the current and future state of the discipline. Prerequisite: Enroll during spring semester of senior year. Three hours per week. Four semester hours.