The Neuroscience program area within the Psychology department encompasses a diversity of approaches to the study of the biological basis of mental phenomena and clinical disorders. Faculty within the program use modern neurobiological techniques to study learning and memory, social cognition, decision-making, as well as visual attention and perception. Our neuroscience laboratories use rapid learning and memory formation in rodent models, single unit electrophysiological recording and neuropeptide infusion to study social decision-making in non-human primates, structural brain changes and genetic analysis to study the biological basis of mental disorders such as schizophrenia and mood disorders, functional neuroimaging including PET and fMRI studies of decision-making, attention, and memory, and EEG studies from subdural electrodes in epilepsy patients to study visual perception. The methods used by the faculty of the Neuroscience area represent the full range of modern neuroscience, from the molecular to the molar, and the research questions to which these methods are addressed represent the full range of modern psychology and intersect all of the areas in our graduate program. Thus, the Neuroscience area is closely integrated within our graduate training program, and most of the Neuroscience area faculty also advise students in the Cognitive, Development, Social, and Clinical areas.
The Neuroscience program area organizes a Friday lunch speaker series entitled “Current Works in Behavior, Genetics, and Neuroscience” where program faculty, students, and invited speakers present their latest research. In addition, there are several other regular speaker series and journal clubs on campus that are particularly relevant to the Neuroscience students. One series organized by the Magnetic Resonance Research Center brings outstanding scientists from around the world to discuss research findings and new methods in functional neuroimaging research. Other relevant series are organized by the Neuroeconomic Forum, the Biological Science Training Program, and the Swartz Neurobiology Center. Special talks organized by the Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program are also of great interest. Neuroscience area students can also take advantage of the rich offerings of the nearby Yale University School of Medicine and VA Medical Center.
Applicants to the Neuroscience graduate program area should identify one or more faculty from the area list with whom they are interested in working. Applicants to the other program areas (i.e., Development, Social, Clinical, and Cognitive) may also receive training in neuroscience and can indicate their interest in this by selecting Neuroscience as a second area of focus in their applications.
*Students should apply to do graduate work only with primary faculty in the Psychology Department. Affiliated Faculty may serve as secondary mentors.