Vik Rao Bejjanki uses a range of methods, such as psychophysics, to study learning.
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
Fundamentals of Neurobiology 205
Introduction to the field of neuroscience from a biological perspective. In-depth examination of fundamental concepts in neurobiology designed to introduce students to the electrophysiological, chemical and anatomical features of neurons, brain regions and brain circuits. Investigation of the neurobiological basis of behavior through exploration of topics such as neuronal communication, neuroanatomy, sensory and motor systems, learning, motivation, and behavior disorders.View All Courses
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.View All Courses
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.View All Courses
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.View All Courses
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.View All Courses
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?View All Courses
Helping Families Understand Genetic Health
Knowing she wanted to be a genetic counselor, Emily Palen ’14 majored in neuroscience and spent a semester at the New England Center for Children. Her first step after College — a master’s in genetic counseling at the Boston University School of Medicine.