2011-2012 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, Associate Professor of Psychology at Haverford College

Advisory Committee

At Bryn Mawr College:

Peter D. Brodfuehrer, Concentration Advisor for Biology
Karen F. Greif, Biology
Leslie Rescorla, Psychology
Anjali Thapar, Psychology
Earl Thomas, Concentration Advisor for Psychology

At Haverford:

Andrea Morris, Concentration Advisor for Biology
Wendy F. Sternberg, Concentration Advisor 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, philosophy and physiology. The field of neuroscience emerged as an interdisciplinary approach, combining techniques and perspectives from these disciplines, as well as emerging fields such as computation and cognitive science, to yield new insights into the workings of the nervous system and behavior.

The concentration in the neural and behavioral sciences is designed to allow students to pursue their interests in behavior and the nervous system across disciplines. The concentration is available to majors in Psychology or Biology at Haverford or Bryn Mawr. Students must satisfy the requirements of the department in which they major, with appropriate modifications related to the concentration (consult departmental advisors listed below). 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. All students, regardless of major, must fulfill the requirements of the core program.

Concentration Requirements

  1. At least one semester of introductory-level work in both psychology and biology. Introductory biology must be taken with a lab component.
  2. Core course in neural and behavioral sciences, either Behavioral Neuroscience (PSYC 218 at Bryn Mawr) or Biological Psychology (PSYC 217 at Haverford) or Neurobiology and Behavior (BIOL 202 at Bryn Mawr).

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

  3. Three elective credits. Two of these credits must be from List A, neuroscience courses. One of the List A credits must be from outside the major department. The third elective credit may be from either List A or List B (affiliate courses) but it must be taken outside the major department.
  4. Senior seminar for concentrators (BIOL 396/PSYC 396 at Bryn Mawr).
  5. Two semesters of senior research, in a manner consistent with the requirements of the major department.

List of Courses

List A: Neuroscience courses

BIOL B244 Behavioral Endocrinology
BIOL B304 Cell and Molecular Neurobiology
BIOL B321 Neuroethology
BIOL B322 From Channels to Behavior
BIOL B364 Developmental Neurobiology
BIOL H309 Molecular Neurobiology
BIOL H350 Pattern Formation in the Nervous System
PSYC B323 Cognitive Neuroscience
PSYC B395 Psychopharmacology
PSYC H240 Psychology of Pain and Pain Inhibition
PSYC H260 Cognitive Neuroscience
PSYC H370 Neuroscience of Mental Illness

List B: Affiliate courses

BIOL B250 Computational Models in the Sciences
BIOL H187 Computing Across the Sciences
BIOL H302 Cell Architecture
BIOL H306 Inter and Intra Cellular Communication
BIOL H312 Development and Evolution
CMSC B120 Visualizing Information
CMSC B250 Computational Models in the Sciences
CMSC B325 Computational Linguistics
CMSC B361 Emergence
CMSC B361 Cognitive Science
CMSC B372 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
CMSC B376 Developmental Robotics
LING H113 Introduction to Syntax
LING H114 Introduction to Semantics
LING H245 Phonetics and Phonology
PHIL B319 Philosophy of Mind
PHIL H102 Rational Animals
PHIL H106 Philosophy of Consciousness
PHIL H251 Philosophy of Mind
PSYC B201 Learning Theory and Behavior
PSYC B209 Abnormal Psychology
PSYC B212 Human Cognition
PSYC B350 Developmental Cognitive Disorders
PSYC B351 Developmental Psychopathology
PSYC H213 Memory and Cognition
PSYC H220 Psychology of Time
PSYC H238 Psychology of Language