Neuroscience

Students may complete a minor in Neuroscience as an adjunct to any major at Bryn Mawr or Haverford pending approval of the student’s coursework plan by their respective Neuroscience adviser. The minor in Neuroscience is designed to allow students to pursue their interests in behavior and the nervous system across disciplines. The first requirement for the minor is a course that acts as a gateway to the discipline and should be taken early in a student’s academic plan

Advisory Committee/Faculty

  • William (Dustin) Albert, Assistant Professor of Psychology
  • Douglas Blank, Associate Professor of Computer Science
  • Laura Been, Psychology at Haverford College
  • Peter Brodfuehrer, Eleanor A. Bliss Professor of Biology
  • Rebecca Compton, Psychology at Haverford College
  • Karen Greif, Professor of Biology
  • Mary Ellen Kelly, Adviser Psychology at Haverford College
  • Roshan Jain, Biology at Haverford College
  • Deepak Kumar, Professor of Computer Science
  • Leslie Rescorla, Professor of Psychology on the Class of 1897 Professorship of Science and Director of Child Study Institute (on leave semester II)
  • Anjali Thapar, Professor of Psychology
  • Earl Thomas, Professor of 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.

Minor Requirements

  • HC Psych 217 (Biological Psychology) or BMC Psych 218 (Behavioral Neuroscience) or BMC Bio 202 (Introduction to Neuroscience).
  • Five credits from advanced courses on the following lists, with these constraints:

The five credits must sample from three different disciplines.
At least three of the five credits must be from List A (neuroscience courses); the remainder can be from List A or B (courses from allied disciplines).
At least one of the credits must be at the 300-level or higher.
One of the five credits may come from supervised senior research in neuroscience.

  • With permission of major and minor advisers, a student may count no more than two of the six minor credits towards the student’s major.

List of Courses

List A: Neuroscience courses

BIOL B244 Behavioral Endocrinology
BIOL B304 Cell and Molecular Neurobiology
BIOL B321 Neuroethology
BIOL B326 From Channels to Behavior
BIOL B364 Developmental Neurobiology
BIOL B401 Supervised Research in Neural & Behavioral Sciences
BIOL H309 Molecular Neurobiology
BIOL H330 Laboratory in Neural and Behavioral Science
BIOL H350 Pattern Formation in the Nervous System
BIOL H357 Topics in Protein Science [protein aggregation in neurodegenerative disease]
BIOL H403 Senior Research Tutorial in Protein Folding and Design
BIOL H409 Senior Research Tutorial in Molecular Neurobiology
PSYC B323 Cognitive Neuroscience
PSYC B395 Psychopharmacology
PSYC H240 Psychology of Pain and Pain Inhibition
PSYC H321: Revolutions in Neuroscience
PSYC B355 Neurobiology of Anxiety
PSYC H260 Cognitive Neuroscience
PSYC B401 Supervised Research in Neural and Behavioral Sciences
PSYC H370 Neuroscience of Mental Illness
PSYC H394 Senior Research Tutorial in Biological Psychology
PSYC H395 Senior Research Tutorial in Cognitive Neuroscience

List B: Allied disciplines

BIOL B250 Computational Models in the Sciences
BIOL H302 Cell Architecture
BIOL H306 Inter and Intra Cellular Communication
BIOL H312 Development and Evolution
CMSC B250 Computational Models in the Sciences
CMSC B325 Computational Linguistics
CMSC B361 Emergence
CMSC B371 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 B244 Philosophy and Cognitive Science
PHIL B319 Philosophy of Mind
PHIL H102 Rational Animals
PHIL H106 Philosophy of Consciousness
PHIL H110 Mind and World
PHIL H112 Mind, Myth, and Memory
PHIL H251 Philosophy of Mind
PHIL B271 Minds and Machines
PHIL H351 Topics in Philosophy of Mind
PSYC B201 Learning Theory and Behavior
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

COURSES

BIOL B202 Introduction to Neuroscience

An introduction to the nervous system and its broad contributions to function. The class will explore fundamentals of neural anatomy and signaling, sensory and motor processing and control, nervous system development and examples of complex brain functions. Lecture three hours a week. Prerequisite: One semester of BIOL 110-111 or permission of instructor.
Approach: Scientific Investigation (SI)
Counts towards: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Neuroscience
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Greif,K.
(Fall 2016)

BIOL B244 Behavioral Endocrinology

An interdisciplinary-based analysis of the nature of hormones, how hormones affect cells and systems, and how these effects alter the behavior of animals. Topics will be covered from a research perspective using a combination of lectures, discussions and student presentations. Prerequisites: One semester of BIOL 110-111 or one of the following courses: BIOL B202, PSYC B218 or PSYC H217.
Approach: Scientific Investigation (SI)
Counts towards: Neuroscience
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

BIOL B250 Computational Methods in the Sciences

A study of how and why modern computation methods are used in scientific inquiry. Students will learn basic principles of visualizing and analyzing scientific data through hands-on programming exercises. The majority of the course will use the R programming language and corresponding open source statistical software. Content will focus on data sets from across the sciences. Six hours of combined lecture/lab per week.
Approach: Quantitative Methods (QM); Quantitative Readiness Required (QR); Scientific Investigation (SI)
Major Writing Requirement: Writing Attentive
Counts towards: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Environmental Studies; Neuroscience
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

BIOL B321 Neuroethology

This course provides an opportunity for students to understand the neuronal basis of behavior through the examination of how particular animals have evolved neural solutions to specific problems posed to them by their environments. The topics will be covered from a research perspective using a combination of lectures, discussions and student presentations. Prerequisite: BIOL 202, PSYC 218 or PSYC 217 at Haverford.
Counts towards: Neuroscience
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

BIOL B326 From Channels to Behavior

Introduces the principles, research approaches, and methodologies of cellular and behavioral neuroscience. The first half of the course will cover the cellular properties of neurons using current and voltage clamp techniques along with neuron simulations. The second half of the course will introduce students to state-of-the-art techniques for acquiring and analyzing data in a variety of rodent models linking brain and behavior. Prerequisites: one semester of BIOL 110-111 and one of the following: PSYC B218/PSYC H217, or BIOL 202.
Major Writing Requirement: Writing Attentive
Counts towards: Neuroscience
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

BIOL B364 Developmental Neurobiology

A lecture/discussion course on major topics in the development of the nervous system. Lecture three hours a week. Prerequisite: BIOL 201 or 271, BIOL 202 or equivalent, or permission of instructor.
Counts towards: Neuroscience
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Greif,K.
(Spring 2017)

BIOL B401 Supervised Research in Neuroscience

Laboratory or library research under the supervision of a member of the Neuroscience committee. Required for those with the concentration. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.
Counts towards: Neuroscience
Units: 1.0
(Fall 2016)

CMSC B325 Computational Linguistics

Introduction to computational models of understanding and processing human languages. How elements of linguistics, computer science, and artificial intelligence can be combined to help computers process human language and to help linguists understand language through computer models. Topics covered: syntax, semantics, pragmatics, generation and knowledge representation techniques. Prerequisite: CMSC 206 , or H106 and CMSC 231 or permission of instructor.
Counts towards: Neuroscience
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

CMSC B361 Emergence

A multidisciplinary exploration of the interactions underlying both real and simulated systems, such as ant colonies, economies, brains, earthquakes, biological evolution, artificial evolution, computers, and life. These emergent systems are often characterized by simple, local interactions that collectively produce global phenomena not apparent in the local interactions. Prerequisite: CMSC 206 or H106 and CMSC 231 or permission of instructor.
Counts towards: Neuroscience
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

CMSC B371 Cognitive Science

Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary study of intelligence in mechanical and organic systems. In this introductory course, we examine many topics from computer science, linguistics, neuroscience, mathematics, philosophy, and psychology. Can a computer be intelligent? How do neurons give rise to thinking? What is consciousness? These are some of the questions we will examine. No prior knowledge or experience with any of the subfields is assumed or necessary. Prerequisite: CMSC B206 or H106 and CMSC B231 or permission of instructor.
Counts towards: Neuroscience
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Blank,D.
(Fall 2016)

CMSC B372 Artificial Intelligence

Survey of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the study of how to program computers to behave in ways normally attributed to “intelligence” when observed in humans. Topics include heuristic versus algorithmic programming; cognitive simulation versus machine intelligence; problem-solving; inference; natural language understanding; scene analysis; learning; decision-making. Topics are illustrated by programs from literature, programming projects in appropriate languages and building small robots. Prerequisites: CMSC B206 or H106 and CMSC B231.
Counts towards: Neuroscience
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

PHIL B244 Philosophy and Cognitive Science

Cognitive science is a multidisciplinary approach to the study of human cognition, spanning philosophy, linguistics, psychology, computer science, and neuroscience. A central claim of cognitive science is that the mind is like a computer. We will critically examine this claim by exploring issues surrounding mental representation and computation. We’ll address such questions as: does the mind represent the world? Could our minds extend into the world beyond the brain and body? Is there a language of thought?
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Neuroscience
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

PHIL B319 Philosophy of Mind

The conscious mind remains a philosophical and scientific mystery. In this course, we will explore the nature of consciousness and its place in the physical world. Some questions we will consider include: How is consciousness related to the brain and the body? Are minds a kind of computer? Is the conscious mind something non-physical or immaterial? Is it possible to have a science of consciousness, or will consciousness inevitably resist scientific explanation? We will explore these questions from a philosophical perspective that draws on relevant literature from cognitive neuroscience.
Counts towards: Neuroscience
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

PSYC B212 Human Cognition

This course provides an overview of the field of Cognitive Psychology, the branch of psychology that studies how we acquire, store, process and communicate information. Over the semester we will survey classic and contemporary theory and findings on a wide range of mental processes that are used every day in almost all human activities – from attention and memory to language and problem solving – and our goal will be to understand how the human mind works! Prerequisite: PSYC B105 or H100 (Introductory Psychology), or instructor’s permission.
Approach: Scientific Investigation (SI)
Counts towards: Neuroscience
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Thapar,A.
(Spring 2017)

PSYC B218 Behavioral Neuroscience

An interdisciplinary course on the neurobiological bases of experience and behavior, emphasizing the contribution of the various neurosciences to the understanding of basic problems of psychology. An introduction to the fundamentals of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and neurochemistry with an emphasis upon synaptic transmission; followed by the application of these principles to an analysis of sensory processes and perception, emotion, motivation, learning, and cognition. Lecture three hours a week. Prerequisite: Introductory Psychology (PSYC 105).
Approach: Course does not meet an Approach
Counts towards: Neuroscience
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Thomas,E.
(Spring 2017)

PSYC B323 Advanced Topics in Cognitive Neuroscience

A seminar course dealing with state-of-the-art developments in the cognitive neuroscience of human memory. The goal of this course is to investigate the neuroanataomy of episodic memory and the cellular and molecular correlates of episodic memory. Topics include memory consolidation, working memory, recollection and familiarity, forgetting, cognitive and neural bases of false memories, emotion and memory, sleep and memory, anterograde amnesia, and implicit memory. Within each topic we will attempt to integrate the results from different neuropsychological approaches to memory, including various psychophysiological and functional imaging techniques, clinical studies, and research with animal models. Prerequisite: a course in cognition (PSYC B212, PSYC H213, PSYC H260) or behavioral neuroscience (either PSYC B218 or PSYC H217).
Counts towards: Neuroscience
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Thapar,A.
(Spring 2017)

Spring 2017: Neurobiological Basis of Memory.

PSYC B351 Developmental Psychopathology

This course will examine emotional and behavioral disorders of children and adolescents, including autism, attention deficit disorder, conduct disorder, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, anorexia, and schizophrenia. Major topics covered will include: contrasting models of psychopathology; empirical and categorical approaches to assessment and diagnosis; outcome of childhood disorders; risk, resilience, and prevention; and therapeutic approaches and their efficacy .Prerequisite: PSYC 206 or 209.
Counts towards: Child and Family Studies; Health Studies; Neuroscience
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2016-2017)

PSYC B355 Neurobiology of Anxiety, Stress and Anxiety Disorders

A seminar course examining the neurobiological basis of fear and anxiety and the stress that is often associated with these emotions. We will also consider anxiety and stress disorders including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, specific phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Implications for various forms of therapy for anxiety disorders, including psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy, will be addressed. Prerequisite: PSYC B218, PSYC B209, BIOL B202 or permission of instructor.
Counts towards: Neuroscience
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Thomas,E.
(Fall 2016)

PSYC B395 Psychopharmacology

A study of the role of drugs in understanding basic brain-behavior relations. Topics include the pharmacological basis of motivation and emotion; pharmacological models of psychopathology; the use of drugs in the treatment of psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression, and psychosis; and the psychology and pharmacology of drug addiction. Prerequisite: PSYC B218 or BIOL B202 or PSYC H217 or permission of instructor.
Counts towards: Health Studies; Neuroscience
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Thomas,E.
(Spring 2017)

PSYC B401 Supervised Research in Neuroscience

Laboratory or field research on a wide variety of topics. Students should consult with faculty members to determine their topic and faculty supervisor, early in the semester prior to when they will begin.
Counts towards: Neuroscience
Units: 1.0
(Fall 2016, Spring 2017)