Cognitive Neuroscience Concentration

Introduction | Concentration Courses | Foundation Courses | Systems/Integrative Courses | Laboratory Courses | Electives | Honors

Concentration Advisor: Prof. William Heindel

Department Undergraduate Group (DUG) Leaders - CogSci/CogNeuro Combined:
Sarah Master
James Archer

A Concentration Worksheet is available as a downloadable Word document.


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.

AP and Transfer Credits: Please refer to our departmental policy on applying AP and transfer credits.

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, perception, language, development, or computational/modeling. The design of the concentration and selection of courses should be made in consultation with the faculty advisor.

Foundation Courses

  • BIOL 0200, The Foundation of Living Systems 
  • CLPS 0200, Human Cognition 
  • CLPS 0900, Quantitative Methods in Psychology or CLPS 2906, Experimental Design
  • MATH 0090, Introductory Calculus (or the equivalent) 
  • NEUR 0010, Introduction to Neuroscience  

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

Systems Level and Integrative Courses

  • CLPS 0040 Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience 
  • CLPS 0400, Brain Damage and the Mind 
  • CLPS 1291, Computational Cognitive Science, CLPS1492, Computational Cognitive Neuroscience, or APMA 0410 Mathematic Methods in the Brain Sciences 
  • NEUR 1030, Neural Systems 

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. 

  • CLPS 1191, Animal Behavior Laboratory
  • CLPS 1192, Animal Learning and Behavior Laboratory
  • CLPS 1193, Laboratory in Genes and Behavior
  • CLPS 1290, Laboratory in Cognitive Processes 
  • CLPS 1490, Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Theory and Practice 
  • CLPS 1491, Neural Modeling Laboratory 
  • CLPS 1510, Human Sensory Processing 
  • CLPS 1690, Laboratory in Cognitive Development 
  • CLPS 1791, Laboratory in Social Cognition 
  • CLPS 1890, Research in Psycholinguistics 
  • CLPS 1891, Research Methods in Physiologic and Acoustic Phonetics 
  • CLPS 1970; NEUR 1970; Independent Study (may be used for only one laboratory) 
  • NEUR 1600, Experimental Neurobiology 
  • NEUR 1650, Structure of the Nervous System 
  • NEUR 1670, Neuropharmacology and Synaptic Transmission 
  • NEUR 1680, Computational Neuroscience
  • NEUR 1970, Directed Reading (may be used for only one laboratory)


Students must take four additional courses around a particular theme. Electives can be characterized as either core cognitive neuroscience courses which focus directly on the intersection of mind and brain, or related courses which focus primarily on either the mind or brain. Electives may be chosen from either group.

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.

Core Cognitive Neuroscience Electives:

  • CLPS 0410, Principles of Behavioral Neuroscience
  • CLPS 1150, Memory and the Brain
  • CLPS 1180B, Biology of Communication
  • CLPS 1400, The Neural Bases of Cognition
  • CLPS 1470, Mechanisms of Motivated Decision Making
  • CLPS 1480B, Cognitive Aging and Dementia
  • CLPS 1480C, Cognitive Control Functions of the Prefrontal Cortex
  • CLPS 1570, Perceptual Learning
  • CLPS 1571, Visual Consciousness
  • CLPS 1620, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
  • CLPS 1621, The Developing Brain
  • CLPS 1820, Language and the Brain
  • CLPS 1821, Neuroimaging and Language
  • NEUR 0650, Biology of Hearing
  • NEUR 0660, Biology of Vision
  • NEUR 1540, Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
  • NEUR 1740, The Diseased Brain: Mechanisms of Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders
  • NEUR 1930A, Cognitive Neuroscience: Motor Learning
  • NEUR 1940A, Topics in Cognitive Neuroscience
  • NEUR 1940I, Neural Correlates of Consciousness
  • NEUR 1930B, From Neurophysiology to Perception
  • NEUR 1940D, Higher Cortical Functions

Related Electives:

  • CLPS 0210, Human Thinking and Problem Solving
  • CLPS 0220, Making Decisions
  • CLPS 0500, Perception and Mind
  • CLPS 0600, Child Development
  • CLPS 0610, Children's Thinking: The Nature of Cognitive Development
  • CLPS 0800, Language and the Mind
  • CLPS 1100, Animal Cognition
  • CLPS 1130, Psychology of Timing
  • CLPS 1140, Psychophysiology of Sleep and Dreams
  • CLPS 1200, Thinking
  • CLPS 1210, Human Memory and Learning
  • CLPS 1230, Making Decisions
  • CLPS 1220, Concepts and Categories
  • CLPS 1240, Reasoning and Problem Solving
  • CLPS 1241, Causal Reasoning
  • CLPS 1320, Production, Perception and Analysis of Speech
  • CLPS 1385, Topics in Language Acquisition: Language Acquisition and Cognitive Development
  • CLPS 1389, Topics in Language Processing
  • CLPS 1500, Ecological Approach to Perception and Action
  • CLPS 1510, Psychology of Hearing
  • CLPS 1520, Computational Vision
  • CLPS 1530, 3D Shape Perception
  • CLPS 1560 Visually-Guided Action and Cognitive Processes
  • CLPS 1580A, Visually-Guided Action and Cognitive Processes
  • CLPS 1580B Visual Attention
  • CLPS 1590, Visualizing Vision
  • CLPS 1610, Cognitive Development
  • CLPS 1611, Cognitive Development in Infancy
  • CLPS 1650, Child Language Acquisition
  • CLPS1730 Psychology in Business and Economics
  • CLPS 1800, Language Processing
  • CLPS 1810, Syntactic Theory and Syntactic Processing
  • NEUR 1710, Neuroimaging
  • NEUR1930N, Region of Interest: An In-Depth Analysis of One Brain Area
  • NEUR 1930F, Brain Interfaces for Humans
  • NEUR 1930G, Disease, Mechanism, Therapy: Harnessing Basic Biology for Therapeutic Development

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 listings for other computational/modeling courses.

  • APMA 1360, Topics in Chaotic Dynamics
  • CLPS 1211 Human and Machine Learning
  • CLPS 1291, Computational Cognitive Science
  • CLPS 1492, Computational Cognitive Neuroscience
  • CLPS 1520, Computational Vision
  • CLPS 1470, Mechanisms of Motivated Decision Making
  • CSCI 1410, Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
  • CSCI 1430, Introduction to Computer Vision
  • CSCI1460, Introduction to Computational Linguistics
  • CSCI 1480, Building Intelligent Robots
  • CSCI 1950A, Computational Modeling and Algorithmic Thinking
  • ENGN 1220, Neuroengineering
  • ENGN 1610, Image Understanding
  • NEUR 1680, Computational Neuroscience


Refer to the CLPS Honors Progam page for detailed information about the Cognitive Neuroscience honors program.