20109-2011 Undergraduate Catalog

Neural and Behavioral Sciences

Students may complete a concentration in Neural and Behavioral Sciences within the majors of biology and psychology.


Rebecca Compton, Chair and Associate Professor of Psychology at Haverford College

Faculty at Bryn Mawr College

Douglas Blank, Computer Science (on leave semester II)
Peter D. Brodfuehrer, Concentration Adviser for Biology
Karen Greif , Biology
Paul Grobstein, Biology
Deepak Kumar, Computer Science
Leslie Rescorla, Psychology (on leave semester II)
Anjali Thapar, Psychology
Earl Thomas, Concentration Adviser for Psychology

Faculty at Haverford College

Rebecca Compton, Psychology
Andrea Morris, Concentration Adviser for Biology
Wendy F. Sternberg, Concentration Adviser for Psychology

The desire to understand human and animal behavior in terms of nervous system structure and function is long standing. Historically, this task has been approached from a variety of disciplines including medicine, biology, psychology, and physiology. The field of neuroscience emerged as an interdisciplinary approach, combining techniques and perspectives from these disciplines to yield new insights into the workings of the nervous system and behavior.

The concentration in Neural and Behavioral Sciences is designed to allow students to pursue their interests in behavior and the nervous system across disciplines. The concentration is offered by the Departments of Biology and Psychology at Bryn Mawr and the Departments of Biology and Psychology at Haverford College. Students undertaking the concentration must major in one of these four departments.

The concentration consists of two components. Students must satisfy the requirements of the department in which they major, with appropriate modifications related to the concentration (consult departmental advisers listed above). For the concentration itself, students must take a series of courses that represent the background in the neural and behavioral sciences and other sciences common to all approaches to the nervous system and behavior.

Concentration Requirements

1. One semester of introductory coursework in Biology and Psychology (with lab)

2. One of the following courses in neural and behavioral sciences:

Neurobiology and Behavior (BIOL 202 at Bryn Mawr)

Behavioral Neuroscience (PSYC 218 at Bryn Mawr)

Biological Psychology (PSYC 217 at Haverford)

Requirements 1 and 2 must be completed before the senior year.

3. Two semesters of senior research (BIOL 401, PSYC 401 at Bryn Mawr).

4. Senior Seminar for concentrators (BIOL 396, PSYC 396 at Bryn Mawr).

5. Participation in faculty-student concentration events (approximately two per semester).

6. Three courses from the list below or a course approved by the student’s major department, with at least two courses drawn from outside the student’s major department.

List of Courses

Note—not all courses are offered in a given year and two half-semester courses equal one full-semester course

B209 Abnormal Psychology
B212 Human Cognition
H213 Memory and Cognition
H220 Psychology of Time
H238 Psychology of Language
H240 Psychology of Pain and Pain Inhibition
H250 Biopsychology of Emotion and Personality
H260 Cognitive Neuroscience
B323 Cognitive Neuroscience
B350 Developmental Cognitive Disorders
B351 Developmental Psychopathology
H370 Neuroscience of Mental Illness
B395 Psychopharmacology

H187 Computing Across the Sciences
B250 Computational Models in the Sciences
B271 Developmental Biology
B303 Animal Physiology
B304 Cell and Molecular Neurobiology
H306 Inter and Intra Cellular Communication (half-semester course)
H309 Molecular Neurobiology (half-semester course)
H312 Development and Evolution (half-semester course)
B313/314 Integrative Organismal Biology I and II
B321 Neuroethology
B322 From Channels to Behavior
H350 Pattern Formation in the Nervous System (half-semester course)
B364 Developmental Neurobiology

Allied disciplines: Computer Science
B120 Visualizing Information
B250 Computational Models in the Sciences
B325 Computational Linguistics
B361 Emergence
B371 Cognitive Science
B372 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
B376 Androids: Design and Practice
B380 Developmental Robotics

H113 Introduction to Syntax
H114 Introduction to Semantics
H245 Phonetics and Phonology

H106 The Philosophy of Consciousness and the Problem of Embodiment
H251 Philosophy of Mind