CNS Program Requirements

Students in the Cognition and Neural Systems Program meet their Program requirements by following the course of study outlined below.

I.  Departmental Requirements (See Departmental Curriculum Requirements above)

II. Foundations of CNS: A two-semester core course (PSY 506A&B). Students in the CNS Program generally take this core course during the first two years (6 units). PSY 506A is intended to provide a basis for understanding how brains acquire, assimilate, store and retrieve information and how they compute adaptive responses to external inputs. Understanding these processes requires a basic working knowledge of both the theoretical principles and biological mechanisms underlying neural signaling, knowledge representation and data storage. PSY 506B covers basic concepts, foundational knowledge, and common paradigms in the study of perception, attention, memory, learning, language, and decision-making.

III. Additional breadth courses within the CNS Program: One course from each of the columns below (6 units).

Note: Courses with the same numbers can be taken more than once for credit if the topic varies.

Neural Systems            

PSY 501a/b: Psychophysiology

PSY 502: Neuroanatomy    

PSY 503C: Intro to Computational Neuroscience    

PSY 504A: Human Brain-Behavior Relations

PSY 512: Animal Learning

PSY 515: The Design of the Mind: Genes, Adaptation and Behavior

PSY 520: Cognitive Neuroscience of Hearing

*PSY 524: Gerontology

*PSY 528: Cognitive Neuroscience 

*PSY528: Cognitive Neuroscience: The Cognitive Neuroscience of Imagination

*PSY528 Cognitive Neuroscience: Introduction to Brain Functional Connectivity   

*PSY 530: Neural Bases of Language

ANTH 531: Primate Sexuality

*PSY 536: Topics in Visual Cognition (topics vary by year)

PSY 544A: Computational Cognitive Neuroscience

SPH 545: Neurogenic Language Disorders in Adults

NRSC 560:  Systems Neuroscience

ECOL 573: Topics in Behavioral Ecology

*PSY 578: Sleep & Sleep Disorders

NRSC 582: Topics in Neural Development        

NRSC 583: Topics in Neural Plasticity    

NRSC 587: Biology of Neurological Disease

NRSC 588: Principles of Cellular & Molecular Neuro

PSY 596E: Biopsychology    

PSY 596L: Introduction to Analyses of Neural Time-Series Data

PSY 597H: Neuroanatomy Lab (take with 502)

ECOL 600A: Fundamentals of Evolution

NRSC 653:  Neuropharmacology/Drugs of Abuse              


PSY 509:  Psycholinguistics of Writing Systems

PSY 511: Animal Behavior

PSY 515: The Design of the Mind: Genes, Adaptation and Behavior

*PSY 524: Gerontology

PSY 526:  Advanced Human Memory

PSY 529: Advanced Perception

*PSY 528: Cognitive Neuroscience

*PSY528: Cognitive Neuroscience: The Cognitive Neuroscience of Imagination

*PSY528 Cognitive Neuroscience: Introduction to Brain Functional Connectivity

*PSY 530: Neural Bases of Language

PSY 532: Psychology of Language

PSY 533: Theories of Language Development

PSY 534: Perceptual Learning

*PSY 536: Topics in Visual Cognition (topics vary by year)

PSY 538: Computational Linguistics

PSY 540: The Bilingual Mind

PSY 542: Lexical Systems

PSY 551: Phil & Psychology (Pragmatics)  

FSHD 5647C: Biosocial Development 

FSHD 567: Theories of Human Development

PSY 568: Speech Perception

PSY 570: Primate Behavior

*PSY 578: Sleep & Sleep Disorders

EXOL 587R/L: Animal Behavior

PSY 596C: Cognitive Development

PSY 596F Cognitive Psychology: Topics

ECOL 596V: Topics in Animal Behavior and Cognition

PSY 696F: Linguistic Theory and Applications

EEP Major Track: (Note that EEP students must take PSYC 515 and at least two other courses from the CNS list (one Cognitive and one Neural in addition to PSY 506A&B) as well as courses from the list below according to their individualized program of study.

ECOL 519: Introduction to Modeling in Biology

ECOL 596H: Complex Systems and Networks 

ANTH 501A: The Primate Skeleton

ANTH 529A: Human Reproductive Ecology

ANTH 538A: Women’s Health in Global Perspective

ANTH 568: Human Osteology

ANTH 595D: Special Topics in Biological Anthropology

ANTH 596: Gender and Health

PSY 587                    Foundations in Health Psychology

ECOL 597S               Topics in Social Insect Biology

*  Courses listed in both areas, which can be used to satisfy either distributional requirement.   

IV. Committee Meetings.   Entering students are expected to complete appropriate coursework and to set a goal of completing their Master’s thesis/project in the second year of the program.  By the end of the Spring semester of the first year, students must form a Master’s committee of faculty in the Cognition and Neural Systems Program, and meet with them as a group to discuss their coursework plan and the proposed direction of their research for the coming year.  Either at this meeting, or at a subsequent one early in the Fall semester of the second year, students will present to their committee a proposal for their Masters

Research.  In future years, students must organize a meeting with their Committee as a group at least once per year, typically late in the Spring semester. At these meetings, students will give a short presentation on their progress, including a discussion of their completed and in-progress research, the courses they have completed and those they plan to take, and the proposed direction of their research for the coming year. The committee members will advise the students on their plans. Students and committee members will work together to ensure that each student’s program of study is sufficiently broad yet tailored to the student’s interests. Summaries of these Committee meetings will be given to the Program Director and placed in the student’s file.

V.  Seminars.  All CNS students are expected to make at least one seminar presentation each semester.  The primary venue for this is the CNS Seminar, held on Mondays @ 4pm.  All CNS students must attend the CNS Seminar on a regular basis and must make one presentation in the CNS Seminar per year.  Venues for the other mandatory yearly talk (the expectation is one per semester or two per year) include various area group meetings and journal clubs.

VI. Completing the Program. Students may take any two additional courses from the lists above to complete the 18-unit requirement of the CNS Program. (The menu of courses will change, as new faculty members or courses are added. In addition, students may be able to substitute other courses by permission of their committee and the Program Director.)

VII. CNS Minors

Students in the CNS Program who choose to minor in CNS may choose any three additional courses after consulting with their minor committee members.

A minor in CNS unaccompanied by a major in CNS can be earned by taking the core courses (PSYC 506A&B) and one other course from either the Neural Systems or the Cognitive column, for a total of 9 units.