Integrating the Study of Mind, Brain, Behavior, and Language

The Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences (CLPS) was created in 2010 by joining the departments of Psychology (established in 1892) and Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences (formed in 1986).  State-of-the-art research in mind, brain, behavior and language requires spanning multiple levels of analysis and using a range of approaches and methodologies, and the integration of these two closely related departments has created an environment where this intellectual synthesis can flourish. The creation of CLPS reflects Brown’s philosophy to build bridges between disciplines and to encourage interdisciplinary studies.


Metcalf Research Building, Brown University

Metcalf Research Building, Home of the CLPS Department at Brown University

Housed in the fully-renovated and historic Metcalf Research Building, the CLPS Department is a leading center for the multidisciplinary study of mind, brain, behavior, and language. We investigate phenomena such as perception, thinking, learning, memory, attention, action, personality, speech, language processing, and linguistic structure. We examine the functional organization of these capacities, the representational and computational processes that underlie them, their neural bases, their development across the lifespan, and how they shape individual and social behavior. We use diverse methodologies, including psychophysical, cognitive, and behavioral experiments, formal analysis and computational modeling, neuroimaging, and neuropsychological and neurophysiological studies, in both humans and other species. 

We are dedicated to research, teaching, and providing service to the University and the broader professional community. Our undergraduate concentrations in Psychology, Cognitive Science, Cognitive Neuroscience, and Linguistics are designed to educate our students broadly within the area of mind, brain, behavior, and language, and to provide a platform for students interested in pursuing advanced degrees in these areas for productive careers as teachers, scholars, and scientists. Through our lecture, laboratory, and seminar courses, academic advising, Honors Program, and many undergraduate research opportunities, we encourage students to think critically, to pursue scholarly topics freely, and to achieve scholarly excellence. These pursuits will prepare students for a lifetime of learning.

Our graduate programs in Psychology, Cognitive Science, and Linguistics are organized into broad areas of research: Perception, Cognition, Cognitive Neuroscience, Behavioral Neuroscience, Social Psychology, Psycholinguistics, and Theoretical Linguistics. Through seminars, scholarly projects, research, teaching experience, career development programs, and faculty mentoring, our graduate students develop the skills, expertise, and perspectives to excel in teaching and research. 

Faculty members in CLPS contribute individually and collectively to the professional life of the University by offering students learning experiences and advising of the highest quality, by carrying out rigorous scientific research, and by promoting the success of scholarly research in improving society.