In Biological Sciences .
The concentration in Neurobiology and Behavior covers a broad range of topics, all concerned in some way with how animals (including humans) behave and what neural mechanisms underlie their behavior. Students are required to take the two introductory courses, one in behavior (fall) and one in neurobiology (spring). A feature of these two courses is that they provide students with an introduction to most of the faculty members associated with this concentration. After taking these courses, each student has a choice of many different upper-level courses for further exploration of areas of special interest, including social evolution, behavioral neurobiology, animal communication, and cellular and molecular neurobiology.
Neurobiology and behavior is a synthesis of many disciplines, including physiology and anatomy, vertebrate and invertebrate zoology, biological psychology and anthropology, ecology and evolution, chemistry and biochemistry, and physics and mathematics. Students in this concentration are encouraged to build a broad knowledge base and to not specialize prematurely. The course requirements beyond the required two-course introductory sequence are left unspecified, so that courses may be selected from a wide range of possibilities. These include one upper-level course in neurobiology and behavior plus one or two courses in the other subject areas mentioned above. Students are encouraged to get hands-on experience in the lab or field, and to try out the advanced topic seminars during their senior year. Faculty advisers help students plan their courses of study in light of their interests and goals.
The variety of courses offered in this concentration reflects the breadth of research interests of its faculty. These interests span field and laboratory studies. They include such diverse topics as animal communication, animal orientation, plant behavior, sensory systems, developmental neurobiology, behavioral genetics, cellular neurophysiology, and neuropharmacology (“drugs and the brain”).
Most students in the Neurobiology and Behavior concentration proceed to further study in graduate, medical, nursing, or veterinary school. Still others enter the work force immediately following graduation in the areas of research, business, and teaching.