Professor Dearborn (Biology), Kahan (Psychology), and Kelsey (Psychology); Associate Professors Kleckner (Biology) and Koven (Psychology, chair); Assistant Professor Castro (Psychology); Visiting Assistant Professor Ernstrom (Biology)
Neuroscience examines the bidirectional interrelations between the nervous system and behavior and includes perspectives from biology, psychology, chemistry, and philosophy. Neuroscience majors become familiar with neurobiology, physiological psychology, and cognitive neuroscience through classroom and laboratory experiences that include a thesis. More information on the neuroscience program is available on the website (www.bates.edu/NRSC.xml).
Major RequirementsThe fifteen courses required to major in neuroscience include four core neuroscience courses (NS/PY 200, 330, 363 and BI/NS 308), which should be completed by the end of the junior year. In addition, three upper-level courses from the two elective lists below are required. All three courses may come from list A, consisting of neuroscience-related courses. Alternatively, one course from list B, consisting of background courses, may be substituted for a course from list A. Also required are BIO 101 or 190 and 242; PSYC 218; CHEM 107A, CH/ES 107B, or FYS 398; CHEM 108A or CH/ES 108B; CHEM 217 and 218. Some of these courses have additional prerequisites.
Required Senior ThesisAt least a one-semester thesis, typically supervised by the neuroscience faculty, is required of all neuroscience majors (NRSC 457 and/or 458). Given the difficulty of generating sufficient data in one semester, a two-semester thesis is the norm and is highly recommended, especially for those who intend to go on to graduate school. Preliminary thesis proposals are due during the second semester of the junior year. Seniors are also required to present their thesis in the form of a poster or oral presentation at the end of the winter semester.
Double Majoring in Neuroscience and Biological Chemistry, Biology, Chemistry, or PsychologyIf a student undertakes a double major in neuroscience and biological chemistry, biology, chemistry, or psychology, he or she may not use the same elective course to fulfill both majors. Additionally, courses required to fulfill the major requirements of one of the majors may not be used to serve as electives for the second major.
Students planning to minor in chemistry may not use CHEM 321 toward both the chemistry minor and the neuroscience major.
Pass/Fail Grading OptionPass/fail grading may not be elected for courses applied toward the major. Courses
NS/PY 200. Introduction to Neuroscience.In this course, students learn how the structure and function of the central and peripheral nervous systems support mind and behavior. Topics introduced include neuroanatomy, developmental neurobiology, neurophysiology, neuropharmacology, and neuropsychiatry. The course is aimed at prospective majors and nonmajors interested in exploring a field in which biology and psychology merge, and to which many other disciplines (e.g., chemistry, philosophy, anthropology, linguistics, computer science) have contributed. Prerequisite(s): PSYC 101 or any 100-level biology course. Not open to students who have received credit for PSYC 215. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 50. Normally offered every year. J. Castro, N. Koven.
BI/NS 308. Neurobiology.The course is an introduction to the molecular and cellular principles of neurobiology and the organization of neurons into networks. Also included are the topics of developmental and synaptic plasticity, and the role invertebrate systems have played in our understanding of these processes. Laboratories include electrical recordings from nerve cells, computer simulation and modeling, and the use of molecular techniques in neurobiology. Prerequisite(s): BIO 242. Enrollment limited to 12 per section. Normally offered every year. [L] [Q] [S] G. Ernstrom.
This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations
NS/PY 330. Cognitive Neuroscience.This course explores how the neurological organization of the brain influences the way people think, feel, and act. Particular emphasis is given to the brain systems that support motor control, object recognition, spatial processing, attention, language, memory, executive functions, and emotion. Students also investigate clinical syndromes and unusual cognitive phenomena. A wide range of research techniques is introduced, including positron emission topography, functional magnetic resonance imaging, neuropsychological assessment, startle blink response, event-related potentials, magnetoencephalography, and transcranial magnetic stimulation. Prerequisite(s): NS/PY 200 or 363 or PSYC 215 or 230. Normally offered every year. N. Koven.
NRSC 360. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study per semester. Normally offered every semester. Staff.
NS/PY 363. Physiological Psychology.The course is an introduction to the concepts and methods used in the study of physiological mechanisms underlying behavior. Topics include an introduction to neurophysiology and neuroanatomy; an examination of sensory and motor mechanisms; and the physiological bases of ingestion, sexual behavior, reinforcement, learning, memory, and abnormal behavior. Laboratory work includes examination of neuroanatomy, development of neurosurgical and histological skills, and behavioral testing of rodents. Prerequisite(s): NS/PY 200 or BI/NS 308. Normally offered every year. [L] J. Castro.
NRSC 457. Senior Thesis.Independent laboratory research in neuroscience under the supervision of a faculty member. Students register for NRSC 457 in the fall semester and/or for NRSC 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both NRSC 457 and 458. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
NRSC 457, 458. Senior Thesis.Independent laboratory research in neuroscience under the supervision of a faculty member. Students register for NRSC 457 in the fall semester and/or for NRSC 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both NRSC 457 and 458. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
NRSC 458. Senior Thesis in Neuroscience.Independent laboratory research in neuroscience under the supervision of a faculty member. Students register for Neuroscience 457 in the fall semester and/or for Neuroscience 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Neuroscience 457 and 458. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
NRSC s50. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair is required. Students may register for no more than one independent study during a Short Term. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every year. Staff.
NS/PY 200. Introduction to Neuroscience.
BI/NS 308. Neurobiology.
NS/PY 330. Cognitive Neuroscience.
NS/PY 363. Physiological Psychology.
NRSC 457 or 458. Senior Thesis.
BIO 190. Organismal Biology (formerly BIO 101)..
BIO 242. Cellular and Molecular Biology.
CHEM 107A. Atomic and Molecular Structure, CH/ES 107B. Chemical Structure and Its Importance in the Environment, or FYS 398. The Chemistry of Color.
CHEM 108A. Chemical Reactivity or CH/ES 108B. Chemical Reactivity in Environmental Systems.
CHEM 217. Organic Chemistry I.
CHEM 218. Organic Chemistry II.
PSYC 218. Statistics.
Majors must take three courses from these two lists, either all three from list A or two from list A and one from list B. Students are encouraged to take these courses from different faculty members. A student may count only one of BIO 320, BIO 338, or PSYC 362 toward the major. Students may count only BIO 476 or s44, PSYC 305 or s19, and PSYC 401 or s41 toward the major. Only one Short Term course can count toward the major.
List A: Courses Related to Neuroscience.
BIO 330. Advanced Genetics.
BIO 331. Molecular Biology.
BIO 337. Animal Physiology.
BIO 338. Drug Actions on the Nervous System.
BIO 351. Immunology.
BIO 365F. Topics in Cell Biology.
BIO 476. Seminar and Research in Neurobiology.
PSYC 305. Animal Learning.
PSYC 361. Topics in Affective Neuroscience.
PSYC 362. Psychopharmacology: How Drugs Affect Behavior.
PSYC 399. Junior-Senior Seminar in Biological Psychology.
List B: Background Courses.
BIO 320. Pharmacology.
BIO s44. Experimental Neuro/Physiology.
CHEM 321. Biological Chemistry I.
PHIL 211. Philosophy of Science.
PHIL 213. Biomedical Ethics.
PHIL 232. Philosophy of Psychology.
PHIL 235. Philosophy of Mind.
PHIL s21. Philosophy of Psychology.
PHIL s26. Biomedical Ethics.
PSYC 261. Research Methodology.
PSYC 302. Sensation and Perception.
PSYC 303. Health Psychology.
PSYC 333. Advanced Topics in Abnormal Psychology.
PSYC s19. Animal Cognition: Exploring the Minds of Birds, Bees, Chimps, and Dolphins.
PSYC s41. Seminar in Biological Psychology/Neuroscience.