Catalog


Neuroscience

Professor Koven (Neuroscience, chair); Associate Professor Castro (Neuroscience); Assistant Professors Greene (Neuroscience), Kennedy (Chemistry and Biochemistry), and Kruse (Biology and Neuroscience); Visiting professor Calhoon.

Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary field that examines the bidirectional interrelations between the nervous system and environment and includes perspectives from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Majors build a strong foundation in the sciences to explore core domains of neurobiology, physiological psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and computational neuroscience through classroom and laboratory experiences. Students then extend and apply their knowledge with neuroscience-related electives and course work that critically examines the theories and practices of neuroscience from ethical, sociocultural, and other humanistic perspectives. Progress through the major culminates with a senior capstone experience. More information on the neuroscience program is available on the website (bates.edu/neuroscience).

Students interested in declaring the major may take the introductory course in their first or second year. As performance in this course is predictive of future academic success in the major, students whose performance is below a B- who wish to pursue the major should consult with the program chair about their academic preparedness for subsequent neuroscience courses.

Major Requirements for the Class of 2021 and beyond.
There are fourteen courses required for the major, with courses distributed across Groups A, B, C, D, and E. NS/PY 160 must be taken prior to junior year; Group B should be completed prior to senior year.

Group A. Foundation Courses.

Introductory biology: one of the following:
BIO 190. Organismal Biology/Lab (offered through 2018-2019).
BIO 195. Lab-Base Biological Inquiry (offered beginning 2019-2020).

All of the following:
BIO 242. Cellular and Molecular Biology/Lab.
CHEM 107A. Atomic and Molecular Structure/Lab.
CHEM 108A. Chemical Reactivity/Lab.
CHEM 217. Organic Chemistry I/Lab.
NS/PY 160. Introduction to Neuroscience.

Statistics: one of the following:
BIO 244. Biostatistics.
NRSC 205. Statistical Methods.
PSYC 218. Statistics.

Group B. Upper-level Core Courses. Two of the following:
BI/NS 308. Neurobiology/Lab.
NS/PY 330. Cognitive Neuroscience/Lab.
NS/PY 357. Computational Neuroscience/Lab.
NS/PY 363. Physiological Psychology/Lab.

Group C. Neuroscience Electives. Three of the following courses:
BI/NS 305. Gene Editing in Biology and Neuroscience.
BIO 337. Animal Physiology/Lab.
BIO s44. Experimental Neuro/Physiology/Lab.
FYS 497. Community Science of Brain Injury in Sports.
NS/PH 117. Brain Imaging: How Imaging Reveals the Brain and How the Brain Creates Behavior.
NRSC 209. Neural Codes: The Language of Thought.
NS/PY 319. Physiological Profiles of Mental Illness.
CH/NS 320. Mechanisms of Memory.
NS/PY 361. Topics in Affective Neuroscience.
NS/PY 362. Psychopharmacology.
NS/PY 364. Biopsychology of Smell.
NS/PY 382. Cultural Neuroscience.
NS/PY 399. Junior-Senior Seminar in Biological Psychology.
PSYC 302. Sensation and Perception.
PYSC 305. Animal Learning.

Students cannot count more than one 100-level and one Short Term course in Group C. Students may apply additional courses from Group B to Group C if they wish.

Group D. Neuroscience in Humanistic Context. One of the following:
FYS 455. Neuroscience Fiction.
FYS 478. The History of the Brain.
FYS 484. Making Sense: The Social Significance of Sensory Perception.
ENG 362. Literature, Medicine, Empathy.
ENG 395I. Literary Imagination and Neuroscience.
ENG 395V. Literature, Medicine, and the Problem of Empathy.
INDS 267. Blood, Genes, and American Culture.
MU/PY 253. Music and the Embodied Mind.
NRSC 130. Neuroscience of Morality.
NRSC 208. Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society.
NRSC s20. Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society.
NS/PY 304. Embodied Cognition, Technoculture, and the Future of Identity.
PHIL 210. Philosophy of Cognitive Science.
PHIL 211. Philosophy of Science.
PHIL 233. Making Moral Minds: Nature, Nurture, and the Sources of Morality.
PHIL 235. Philosophy of Mind.

Group E. Senior Capstone. One of the following in senior year:
NRSC 457-458. Capstone Thesis in Neuroscience.
NRSC 459. Community-Engaged Learning Capstone.
NRSC 462. Capstone Seminar on Computational Neuroscience.
NS/PY 463. Capstone Seminar on Human Cognitive Neuroscience.
NS/PY 464. Seminar in Systems Neuroscience.

Double Majoring in Neuroscience and Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, or Psychology. Students may not double major in neuroscience and biochemistry, biology, chemistry, or psychology.

Transfer of Courses. A maximum of two non-Bates courses can be counted toward the major, pending approval from the program chair.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses applied toward the major.

Major Requirements for the Class of 2020. Students take fourteen courses.
1) Core courses:

All of the following:
BIO 190. Organismal Biology/Lab.
BIO 242. Cellular and Molecular Biology/Lab.
CHEM 107A. Atomic and Molecular Structure/Lab.
CHEM 108A. Chemical Reactivity/Lab.
CHEM 217. Organic Chemistry I/Lab.
NS/PY 160. Introduction to Neuroscience.

One of the following:
BIO 244. Biostatistics.
NRSC 205. Statistical Methods.
PSYC 218. Statistics.

Three of the following:
BI/NS 308. Neurobiology/Lab.
NS/PY 330. Cognitive Neuroscience/Lab.
NS/PY 357. Computational Neuroscience/Lab.
NS/PY 363. Physiological Psychology/Lab.

NS/PY 160 must be taken prior to junior year. At least two of the three 300-level courses must be taken prior to senior year.

2) Electives. Three courses from the two elective lists below, 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. Only one Short Term course can count toward the major.

List A: Courses Related to Neuroscience:
BIO 321. Cellular Biochemistry.
BIO 328. Developmental Biology/Lab.
BIO 331. Molecular Biology/Lab.
BIO 337. Animal Physiology/Lab.
BIO 473. Seminar and Research in Cell Biology.
BIO s44. Experimental Neuro/Physiology/Lab.
NS/PY 209. Neural Codes: The Language of Thought.
NS/PY 304. Embodied Cognition, Technoculture, and Furture of Identity.
BI/NS 305. Gene Editing in Biology and Neuroscience.
NS/PY 319. Physiological Profiles of Mental Illness.
CH/NS 320. Mechanisms of Memory.
NS/PY 357. Computational Neuroscience.
NS/PY 361. Topics in Affective Neuroscience.
NS/PY 362. Psychopharmacology.
NS/PY 364. Biopsychology of Smell.
NS/PY 382. Cultural Neuroscience.
NS/PY 399. Junior-Senior Seminar in Biological Psychology.
PSYC 305. Animal Learning.

List B: Supplemental Courses.
BI/MA 255A. Mathematical Models in Biology.
CHEM 218. Organic Chemistry II/Lab.
CHEM 321. Biological Chemistry I/Lab.
ENG 395I. Literary Imagination and Neuroscience.
FYS 455. Neuroscience Fiction.
FYS 478. The History of the Brain: Ideas and Delusions about Brain Function from Antiquity to the Digital Age.
FYS 497. Community Science of Brain Injury in Sports.
MU/PY 253. Music and the Embodied Mind.
NS/PH 117. Brain Imaging.
NRSC 130. Neuroscience of Morality.
NRSC 208. Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society.
NRSC s20. Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society.
PHIL 210. Philosophy of Cognitive Science.
PHIL 211. Philosophy of Science.
PHIL 213. Biomedical Ethics.
PHIL 233. Making Moral Minds: Nature, Nurture, and the Sources of Morality.
PHIL 235. Philosophy of Mind.
PHIL 236. Theory of Knowledge.
PHIL 321J. Topics in Contemporary Philosophy of Mind and Language: Self-Knowledge.
PSYC 261. Research Methodology.
PSYC 302. Sensation and Perception.
PSYC 303. Health Psychology.

3) Senior Capstone.

Senior Capstone. The senior capstone may take one of three forms: an empirical thesis, a capstone seminar, or a community-engaged project. Guidelines concerning the capstone process are available on the neuroscience website.

NRSC 457-458. Capstone Thesis in Neuroscience.
NRSC 459. Community-Engaged Learning Capstone.
NRSC 462. Capstone Seminar on Computational Neuroscience.
NS/PY 463. Capstone Seminar on Human Cognitive Neuroscience.
NS/PY 464. Seminar in Systems Neuroscience.

Double Majoring in Neuroscience and Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, or Psychology. Students may not double major in neuroscience and biochemistry, biology, chemistry, or psychology.

Students planning to minor in chemistry may not use CHEM 321 toward both the chemistry minor and the neuroscience major.

Transfer of Courses. Neuroscience majors may transfer up to two non-Bates credits toward the major, provided that the credits are pre-approved by the program chair.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses applied toward the major.

Courses

NS/PH 117. Brain Imaging: How Imaging Reveals the Brain and How the Brain Creates Behavior.

This introductory course surveys how breakthroughs in microscopy and imaging have enabled key discoveries about the brain. Students begin by investigating challenges the brain poses as an imaging sample and discuss the origins of these challenges in fundamental physical principles. After studying the structure and function of the nervous system as well as the physiology of neurons, students investigate both classical and cutting-edge imaging techniques. These techniques are introduced in the context of specific neuroscience case studies relevant to human health and behavior. Familiarity with high-school-level algebra and trigonometry is expected. Enrollment limited to 49. [Q] [S] [SR] J. Castro, T. Gould.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

NRSC 130. The Neuroscience of Morality.

The last presidential election brought discussions of morality to the forefront. Topics ranged from political morality and the liberal/conservative divide, to group morality and intergroup relations as well as the role of emotions versus conscious reasoning in moral judgment. Indeed, how do we decide whether a statement, conviction, or action is morally wrong? Are there different kinds of moral wrongness? What role does our neurobiology play in moral decision making? This course considers the neuroscientific origins of morality by exploring how judgments about fairness, harm, justice, honesty, and responsibility are impacted by our biological foundations. Enrollment limited to 29. [S] Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

NS/PY 160. 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 include neuroanatomy, developmental neurobiology, neurophysiology, neuropharmacology, and neuropsychiatry. The course is designed for prospective majors and nonmajors who are interested in exploring a field in which biology and psychology merge, and to which many other disciplines (e.g., chemistry, philosophy, anthropology, computer science) have contributed. Not open to students who have received credit for PSYC 215. Not open to students who have received credit for NS/PY 200. Enrollment limited to 39. (Psychology: Biological.) Normally offered every year. J. Castro, M. Greene, N. Koven.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

NRSC 205. Statistical Methods.

This course provides a hands-on introduction to modern statistical methods for brain and behavioral data. Topics include descriptive statistics, introductory probability theory, and statistical inference using both frequentist (hypothesis tests and confidence intervals) and Bayesian approaches, regression, prediction, analyses of variance, and resampling techniques including bootstrapping. Particular emphasis is placed on design choices for reproducible research. Lectures are interactive, using the R programming language. No prior programming experience is required. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level course in biology, neuroscience, or psychology. Not open to students who have received credit for BIO 244 or PSYC 218. Enrollment limited to 39. [QF] M. Greene.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

NRSC 208. Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society.

As our ability to measure, predict, and manipulate brain function progresses, so too does our need to grapple with the societal consequences of neuroscientific discovery. This course invites critical examination of the ethics surrounding real-world neuroscience applications in private and public sectors. With topics that include psychopharmacology and cognitive liberty, neuroimaging for lie detection, weaponization of neurotechnology, and neuroprivacy in an era of data mining, students engage two overarching questions: How does the practice of neuroscience simultaneously mirror and mold social attitudes and policy-making agendas? What does it mean to be a responsible consumer and/or producer of neuroscientific knowledge? Prerequisite(s): one of the following: NRSC 130, NS/PH 117, NS/PY 160, or PSYC 215. Not open to students who have received credit for NRSC s20. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 29. [AC] M. Greene.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

NRSC 209. Neural Codes: The Language of Thought.

Although a central tenet of neuroscience is that information about the world in encoded in the patterns of neural firing, it is increasingly acknowledged that our assumptions about these patterns make qualitatively different predictions about neural function. This course examines major hypotheses related to information coding by individual neurons and populations of neurons. Specific themes include rate coding versus time-based codes, sparse versus dense codes, and the relationship between brain responses and the statistics of their inputs. Students examine biological data and artificial models to assess how various encoding schemes might produce skillful behavioral responses. Prerequisite(s): NS/PY 160. Enrollment limited to 29. [QF] [SR] M. Greene.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

NS/PY 250. Motivation and Emotion.

The course examines the mechanisms involved in activating and directing behavior and in forming, expressing, and perceiving emotions. Analysis includes evaluation of the role of physiological, environmental, and cognitive variables in mediating the behavioral processes such as thirst, hunger, sex, arousal, reward, stress, choice, consistency, and achievement. Prerequisite(s): PSYC 101. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 29. Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

NS/PY 304. Embodied Cognition, Technoculture, and the Future of Identity.

Whereas much of cognitive neuroscience positions the mind as an emergent property of disembodied neural processing, newer theories of embodied mind understand cognition as collective work shared by brain, body, and environment. Traditional notions of cognition are further destabilized when we account for the potential of technology to reshape the parameters of and distinctions among brain, body, and environment. With acknowledgment of embodiment and embeddedness as fellow operators of mind, neuroscience must consider how the brain interacts with and is impacted by social inequality and body politics of gender, sexuality, race, and ability. Drawing upon scientific, theoretical, and literary texts, students contemplate current and future possibilities for biology and culture to co-construct identity. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: AF/AM 119, ENG 395I, INDS 267, NRSC 130, NS/PY 160, or PSYC 215. Only open to juniors and seniors. Enrollment limited to 15. [AC] [CP] N. Koven.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

BI/NS 305. Gene Editing in Biology and Neuroscience.

The development of genome editing techniques by molecular biologists has raised great hopes that a treatment for genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis or Huntington’s disease might finally be available. In this course, students analyze how genome editing techniques such as CRISPR/Cas9 have evolved, how they can be applied to study the role of individual genes or to alter mutant genes, and what approaches exist for the delivery of DNA-modifying enzymes into an organism. In addition, students use scientific publications and popular literature to discuss ethical implications of usage of genome editing techniques for society. Prerequisite(s): BIO 242. Enrollment limited to 15. M. Kruse.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

BI/NS 308. Neurobiology/Lab.

An introduction to the molecular and cellular principles of neurobiology and the organization of neurons into networks. Also investigated are developmental and synaptic plasticity, analysis of signaling pathways in cells of the nervous system, and the development of neurobiological research, from studies on invertebrate systems to usage of stem cell-derived brain organoids. 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 laboratory section. Normally offered every year. [L] [Q] [QF] [S] [SR] M. Kruse.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

NS/PY 319. Physiological Profiles of Mental Illness.

This course examines the physiology associated with a range of mental illnesses. Biological methods (e.g., neuroscience, autonomic psychophysiology) are used to explore the physiological underpinnings of mood, anxiety, psychotic, personality, and other psychological disorders. Clinical implications are discussed including evaluating the utility of incorporating physiological measurement into diagnosis and treatment of psychopathology. Prerequisite(s): PSYC 218 or 235. Not open to students who have received credit for PSYC 319. Enrollment limited to 19. (Psychology: Biological.) Normally offered every year. K. Low.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

CH/NS 320. Mechanisms of Memory.

This course engages students in ideas from the fields of neuroscience, chemistry, biology, and psychology to understand on a chemical level how memory is stored and recalled in the human brain. Using seminal experiments as a foundation, students differentiate between “learning” and “memory” and connect model systems from the molecule all the way to behavior. Multimodal assignments explore the broad scope of experimental design and the cutting-edge subtleties of what it means to store and access information in the brain. Prerequisite(s): BIO 242 and CHEM 217. Enrollment limited to 39. [CP] [HS] [S] A. Kennedy.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

NS/PY 330. Cognitive Neuroscience/Lab.

This course explores how the neurological organization of the brain influences the way people think and act. Particular emphasis is given to the brain systems that support object recognition, spatial processing, attention, language, memory, and executive functions. 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, diffusion tensor imaging, neuropsychological assessment, event-related potentials, magnetoencephalography, and transcranial magnetic stimulation. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: NS/PY 160 or 363 or PSYC 215, 222, or 230. Not open to students who have received credit for NS/PY 331. Enrollment limited to 39. (Psychology: Biological.) Normally offered every year. [L] [SR] N. Koven.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

NS/PY 331. Cognitive Neuroscience.

This course explores how the neurological organization of the brain influences the way people think and act. Particular emphasis is given to the brain systems that support object recognition, spatial processing, attention, language, memory, and executive functions. 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, diffusion tensor imaging, neuropsychological assessment, event-related potentials, magnetoencephalography, and transcranial magnetic stimulation. Prerequisite(s): NS/PY 160 or 200 or 363 or PSYC 215, 222, or 230. Not open to students who have received credit for NS/PY 330. Enrollment limited to 39. (Psychology: Biological.) N. Koven.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

NS/PY 357. Computational Neuroscience.

In this course, students examine formal models of brain function to determine how neurons give rise to thought. Examining real datasets, students explore how the brain encodes and represents information at cellular, network, and systems scales, and they discuss ideas about why the brain is organized as it is. Specific topics include spike statistics, reverse correlation and linear models of encoding, dimensionality reduction, cortical oscillations, neural networks, and algorithms for learning and memory. All assignments and most class work emphasizes computer programming in Python, though no programming background is assumed or expected. Prerequisite(s): NS/PY 160. Enrollment limited to 15. Normally offered every year. [QF] [SR] M. Greene.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

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.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

NS/PY 361. Topics in Affective Neuroscience.

This seminar examines recent advances in the interdisciplinary field of affective neuroscience. Topics include methodology, cognitive components of emotion, emotion in personality and temperament, neuroscience of positive and negative affect, moral emotions, unconscious emotions, evolutionary perspectives of affect, emotion dysregulation and psychopathology, as well as neuroethics and neurolaw. Prerequisite(s): NS/PY 160 or PSYC 215. Not open to first-year students or sophomores. Not open to students who have received credit for PSYC 361. Enrollment limited to 15. [HS] N. Koven.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

NS/PY 362. Psychopharmacology.

This course examines the effects that drugs have on human behavior, including the ability to cause addiction as well as treat a variety of neuropsychiatric conditions. By exploring how drugs alter neurotransmitters, students better understand how the brain mediates cognition, emotion, and sensorimotor functioning. Strategies, techniques, and challenges of psychopharmacological research are addressed, and new approaches to drug discovery are covered in depth. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: NS/PY 160, 319, 330, or 331; or PSYC 215, 302, or 305. Enrollment limited to 29. (Psychology: Biological.) [SR] Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

NS/PY 363. Physiological Psychology/Lab.

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 160 or BI/NS 308. (Psychology: Biological.) Normally offered every year. [L] [QF] [SR] J. Castro.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

NS/PY 364. Psychobiology of Smell.

Smells are the most enigmatic percepts, incomparably vivid and immediate, yet seemingly impossible to describe or quantify. This course begins with a brief philosophical and historical inquiry into the nature of smell, and then critically examines the recent scientific literature in olfactory neuroscience. Topics include the molecular biology of odor detection, neural coding and representation of odors, the role of odors in social and sexual behavior, and the relationships among odor, memory, emotion, and language. Prerequisite(s): NS/PY 160 or PSYC 215. Enrollment limited to 15. [QF] [SR] J. Castro.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

NS/PY 382. Cultural Neuroscience.

Cultural neuroscience is an interdisciplinary field of research that seeks to understand the interrelation of culture, brain, and behavior. This rapidly advancing discipline investigates how environment, beliefs, and traditions shape human cognitive function and, in turn, how foundational neural mechanisms impact sociocultural processes. In this seminar, students review and discuss the theoretical and empirical literature addressing cross-cultural research on attention, autobiographical memory, emotion, intergroup dynamics, and social conflict. Students develop a nuanced understanding of neuroimaging measures applied cross-culturally and critically evaluate a body of research that attempts to address "real-world" scenarios. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: AS/PY 260, NRSC 130, NS/PY 160, PSYC 215, or PY/SO 210. Enrollment limited to 15. (Psychology: Diversity.) Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

NS/PY 399. Junior-Senior Seminar in Biological Psychology.

A course designed to give junior and senior majors an opportunity to explore a significant new area in biological psychology. Topics change from year to year and with the expertise of the faculty member. Prerequisite(s): NS/PY 160. Only open to juniors and seniors. Enrollment limited to 15. [QF] [SR] J. Castro.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

NRSC 457. Capstone Thesis in Neuroscience.

Open to seniors majors with permission of the program faculty. A neuroscience thesis involves independent laboratory research on a topic broadly related to neuroscience. This may take the form of a one- or two-semester project conducted under the supervision of a Bates faculty member, or participation in a summer neuroscience-related research internship off-campus that culminates in data analysis and writing during the fall semester. With the latter option, students take responsibility for finding and securing a summer research position in neuroscience that involves some form of data collection, and students must also secure permission from the summer research mentor to bring data back to Bates for analysis and write-up. 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. Instructor permission is required. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

NRSC 458. Capstone Thesis in Neuroscience.

Open to seniors majors with permission of the program faculty. A neuroscience thesis involves independent laboratory research on a topic broadly related to neuroscience. This may take the form of a one- or two-semester project conducted under the supervision of a Bates faculty member, or participation in a summer neuroscience-related research internship off-campus that culminates in data analysis and writing during the fall semester. With the latter option, students take responsibility for finding and securing a summer research position in neuroscience that involves some form of data collection, and students must also secure permission from the summer research mentor to bring data back to Bates for analysis and write-up. 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. Instructor permission is required. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

NRSC 459. Community-Engaged Learning Capstone.

Open to senior majors with permission of the program faculty, this capstone project involves creative collaboration with a campus or community partner to produce a body of neuroscience-related work that benefits that partner. Students complete fifty to sixty hours of work in a campus/community placement and engage in structured writing exercises specific to the placement. Students may wish to consult with the Harward Center for Community Partnerships as they develop their ideas; the idea is subject to approval by the neuroscience faculty. Instructor permission is required. [W3] Normally offered every semester. Staff.

NRSC 462. Capstone Seminar on Computational Neuroscience.

Open to seniors with permission of the program faculty, this seminar applies quantitative techniques and formalisms to investigate neural data and to model neural phenomena. The seminar focuses on the computational analysis of high-dimensional data sets charting gene expression throughout the brain, with the goal of understanding the functional and hierarchical organization of brain systems. Students first learn essential computer programming and analysis techniques, and then work in teams to propose and investigate a topic of their choosing. Specific topics include the high-throughput analysis of brain tissue using in situ hybridization, image processing, clustering, and dimensionality reduction. The course also includes professional development and discussions with practitioners. Prerequisite(s): NS/PY 160 and either BIO 244, NRSC 205, or PSYC 218. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission is required. [W3] [QF] [SR] J. Castro, M. Greene.

NS/PY 463. Capstone Seminar on Human Cognitive Neuroscience.

Open to seniors with permission of the program faculty, this seminar focuses on the end-to-end process of scientific discovery using the tools of human cognitive neuroscience. Students work in groups to uncover an open empirical question in the areas of perception, attention, or memory, then design and execute an experiment aimed at answering this question using electroencephalography or eye tracking in human subjects. Students gain experience in modern data analysis techniques including multivariate pattern analysis, time-frequency analysis, image processing, and representational similarity analysis. Prerequisite(s): NS/PY 160 and either BIO 244, NRSC 205, or PSYC 218. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission is required. [W3] [CP] [SR] M. Greene.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

NS/PY 464. Capstone Seminar in Systems Neuroscience.

Open to seniors with permission of the program faculty, in this seminar investigates the mouse olfactory bulb, with the goal of testing student-designed hypotheses on this structure's molecular and functional organization. Students use a wide interdisciplinary set of approaches to interrogate olfactory circuits at cellular scale, including electrical recordings, imaging, histology, modeling, and informatics. Additional features of the course include training in research design, data analysis using MATLAB, instruction in proposal writing and science writing and professional development. Prerequisite(s): NS/PY 160 and one of the following: BI/NS 308, NS/PY 330, 357, or 363. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission is required. [W3] [QF] [SR] J. Castro.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

Short Term Courses

NRSC s20. Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society.

As our ability to measure, predict, and manipulate brain function progresses, so too does our need to grapple with the societal consequences of neuroscientific discovery. This course invites critical examination of the ethics surrounding real-world neuroscience applications in private and public sectors. With topics that include psychopharmacology and cognitive liberty, neuroimaging for lie detection, weaponization of neurotechnology, and neuroprivacy in an era of data mining, students engage two overarching questions: How does the practice of neuroscience simultaneously mirror and mold social attitudes and policy-making agendas? What does it mean to be a responsible consumer and/or producer of neuroscientific knowledge? Prerequisite(s): one of the following: NRSC 130, 205, NS/PH 117, NS/PY 160, or PSYC 215. Not open to students who have received credit for NRSC 208. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. M. Greene.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

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.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)