The B.S. program in neuroscience at Lafayette educates students to understand nervous systems from a variety of scientific perspectives.
Within the major program, students have the freedom to create their own combination of electives that reflect their particular interests. Starting with the class of 2022, the major consists of 15 courses distributed among foundation, core, and elective courses.
5 total courses from the list below:
*requires Biol 111 or equivalent AP credit
One Independent Study (NEUR 391/392), Advanced Research (491/492), or Honors (NEUR 495/496) course also may be used as an elective.
This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of neuroscience using a problem-based approach. The structure and function of the brain are explored at molecular, cellular, and systems levels. Students become familiar with approaches used by neuroscientists as well as the connections between neuroscience and other disciplinary fields.
From smart algorithms analyzing wearable data to the development of brain-machine interface, significant advances have been made in the development of medical devices for treating and assisting patients. In this team-taught course we will explore the physiological changes (i.e. chemical and electrical signals) associated with voluntary and involuntary physiological activities, such as brain and heart function. We will develop an understanding of current technology and discuss the ethical issues surrounding the development of future medical instrumentation. [STSC, V]
Recent scientific evidence indicates that the benefits of music extend to the brain. Further insights into how music affects the brain may lead to new education methods and ways to treat neurological disorders. We will take a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding the connection between music and neural function. By the end of this course, students will have a broad understanding of research in this field and specific knowledge about brain mechanisms mediating music perception and performance.
This course examines the field of neuroscience from a cellular and molecular perspective, with the neuron and neural networks as the focus of discussion and experimentation. After an intensive look at neuronal cell biology and signaling, the course examines the cellular basis of higher-order functions, such as sensation, behavior, and memory.
Prerequisite: Biology 112 or Neuroscience 201
How do neuroscientists make sense of the brain? How does the brain encode cognition and behavior? To answer these questions, we must use currently available tools to collect data from the brain. How do we interpret these data and use them to answer fundamental questions about what our brains are doing? In this course, we will learn how to analyze real examples of neural data with the Python programming language. This class is designed for students who have no starting knowledge of programming in Python or working with neural data.
Art and science share a long history of common ideas and practice. We hope to develop the students’ sense of connected history as well as the current intersection between the fields by exploring various perspectives about visual processes, perception, self creativity, and consciousness through readings, discussion and studio/lab projects. Students will benefit from the rare opportunity to intensively study the interconnection between two disciplines.
This laboratory course builds on information covered in the prerequisites concerning the excitability of neurons. The electrophysiology of neurons and neuronal interactions are examined using electrical recording techniques. Laboratory exercises provide hands-on experience with the properties of nerve function under a variety of circumstances. [W]
Prerequisite: Psychology 323 or Biology/Neuroscience 256
Our neuronal tissues are particularly sensitive to injury and, in many cases, are not able to repair themselves. This course explores the problem of neuronal regeneration through in-class discussions and an analysis of primary research literature. We will investigate invertebrates and amphibians with remarkable regenerative capabilities as well as regeneration of axons and sensory cells in both mammalian and non-mammalian systems.
Prerequisite: Neuroscience 201
An opportunity for students to pursue a topic of choice. Each student examines the topic, using primary and secondary sources, discusses the topic with their faculty mentor, and writes a paper of distinguished quality. The study may be designed for one or two semesters. [W]
Prerequisite: Permission of program chair
This capstone course builds upon information covered in the prerequisites. Through seminar and laboratory, students explore in greater depth the development, organization, and functioning of the nervous system. Particular attention is paid to discussion of current research findings and to learning advanced laboratory techniques used by neuroscientists. Offered in spring semester. [W]
Prerequisite: Biology/Neuroscience 256 and Psychology/Neuroscience 323, or permission of instructor
An opportunity for students to conduct an in-depth research project in an area of choice under the supervision of a faculty mentor. The research can be designed for one or two semesters and should culminate in a paper of distinguished quality. [W]
Prerequisite: Permission of program chair
Open to qualified majors by permission of program chair. [W]