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Research will be central to your studies, and as a neuroscience major, by senior year you will be ready to delve into an in-depth research project. You will find opportunity to excel outside the classroom, for instance getting a grant to conduct summer research with a professor or coauthoring a paper that is published in a scholarly journal.

About the Major

Hamilton’s neuroscience faculty works with students to examine intriguing and fundamental questions: What is the relationship between behavior and biology? How can that relationship best be observed and studied? What does it reveal about ourselves, our culture, our health, even our technology? These are the questions posed and pursued by neuroscience, the multidisciplinary study of the nervous system.

I picked a small liberal arts school because I wanted to be a part of a tight-knit community. I wanted the opportunity to get to know my professors and to enjoy a more personal classroom environment. My active participation in class discussions has benefited me in a way that a lecture-style setting could not. Hamilton has met every expectation.

Marina Palumbo ’17 — Neuroscience major

The study of the nervous system has a clear, practical impact on advances in mental and physical health, child development and aging, medicine, education and many other fields. By drawing on a range of research disciplines, neuroscience is also uniquely positioned to demonstrate the ways in which psychology, biology and chemistry intersect with philosophy, mathematics and – increasingly – computer science.

Careers After Hamilton

  • Researcher, National Institute for Drug Abuse
  • Medical Student, Harvard Medical School
  • Research Analyst, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch
  • Neurologist & Neuro-Oncologist, Unity Hospital
  • Science Teacher, New York City Department of Education
  • Neuropsychologist, Sports Concussion New England
  • Assistant Professor, Penn State College of Medicine
  • Researcher, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Contact Information


Neuroscience Program

198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323

Meet Our Faculty

A Sampling of Courses

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Introduction to Brain and Behavior 205


Study of the structure and function of the nervous system as it relates to consciousness and behavior. Emphasis on psychobiological explanations of perception, learning, attention, motivation, emotion and behavior disorders.

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Psychology and Neuroscience of Learning 320


An exploration of theoretical and methodological questions involved in the study of learning and neural plasticity. Questions covered will include: What is learning? What are the mechanisms that support neural plasticity, and how do they contribute to learning-induced changes in behavior? How does learning change across the lifespan? Laboratory exercises will include the development of original experiments to elicit and measure learning at the behavioral and neural levels, as well as the analysis of neural data. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory.

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Systems Neuroscience 330


The primary focus of this course is on the physiological and chemical basis of behavior from a systems perspective. Topics include analysis of sensory and motor systems; motivated behaviors; stress, anxiety and mental illness; and learning and memory. Laboratory exercises introduce students to the anatomy and physiology of the mammalian central nervous system and to some of the principal techniques used in systems and behavioral neuroscience. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory.

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Cellular Neurobiology 357


A study of the fundamental functions of eukaryotic cells. The interrelationships of cellular structure and function, the cell cycle, protein trafficking and cellular communication will be examined through the study of neurons, the basic unit of the nervous system. Additional topics will include specialized activities of neurons. Three hours class and three hours of laboratory.

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Artificial Intelligence 375


Exploration of AI theory and philosophy, as well as a variety of algorithms and data structures, such as heuristic strategies, logic unification, probabilistic reasoning, semantic networks and knowledge representation. Topics include application areas such as natural language understanding, computer vision, game playing, theorem proving and autonomous agents. Programming intensive.

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Mind and Body 440


An examination of literature in philosophy of mind. Focus on questions and issues such as: What is the mind? How is it related to the body? What is its role in personal identity? How do theories of mind relate to our understanding of affective and cognitive phenomena such as the emotions, will and reason?

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