Cognitive Neuroscience

Cognitive neuroscience is the study of higher cognitive functions in humans and its underlying neural bases. By definition, it is an integrative area of study drawing principally from cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, and linguistics. There are two broad directions which can be taken in this concentration—one is behavioral/experimental and the other is computational/modeling. In either case, the goal is to understand the nature of cognition from a neural perspective.

Standard program for the ScB degree

Concentration Courses

A total of 16 courses are required for the concentration. Each student is required to pass 9 courses designed to introduce students to the foundations (5), systems level and integrative aspects (4) which uniquely define cognitive neuroscience; two laboratory courses; four elective courses; and either a senior seminar course CLPS 1900 (COGS 1950) or an independent research course. The laboratory and elective courses should fit within a particular theme or category such as general cognition, vision, language, or computational/modeling. The design of the concentration and selection of courses should be made in consultation with the faculty advisor.


Note: Students wishing to pursue a computational/modeling track are encouraged to take APMA 1650.

Systems Level and Integrative Courses:

Laboratory Courses

Students must choose two laboratory courses. Please note that due to enrollment limits in some lab courses, priority may be given to concentrators in that department. Students should therefore be prepared to choose from the other laboratory options.


Four additional courses around a particular theme. Normally only one elective course that is below the 1000-level may count towards the elective courses required. An appropriate (but additional) laboratory course may be used in lieu of one of the four elective courses. Appropriate Topics course offerings (not listed below) may also count as electives with the approval of the concentration advisor.

– Primarily behavioral/experimental:

– Primarily Computational/Modeling:

Students are advised to take APMA 0330 (Methods of Applied Analysis I) and APMA 0340 (Methods of Applied Analysis II) as their two supporting science courses. Note that MATH 0100 is a prerequisite for these courses. See CLPS listings (above) for other computational/modeling courses. See CLPS topics listing for other computational/modeling courses.


Students who would like to pursue a degree with honors are normally expected to have half of their grades as A (or equivalent) within the concentration and are required to satisfactorily complete a written thesis and an oral presentation.

Page last updated in February, 2012.

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