“Behavioral neuroscience is the study of how the nervous system mediates behavioral effects in the realm of motivation, perception, learning and memory, and attention and motor performance. Research in this area investigates the complex interplay between the brain, behavior and environment, utilizing multiple levels of experimental analysis, in areas that include communication, biological rhythms, and learning and memory, and audition.” (
Behavioral neuroscientists examine the biological link to behaviour in all animal forms. This field of research builds upon the various aspects of psychology such as cognitive and developmental psychology, among others. Cognitive neuroscience is “the study of cognitive processes and their implementation in the brain. Cognitive neuroscientists use methods drawn from brain damage, neuropsychology, cognitive psychology, functional neuroimaging, and computer modeling.” (
Postgraduate degrees in this field are generally at the Ph.D. level, with programs ranging from anywhere between 4 to 6 years of study towards the final thesis. Coursework and seminars are also important components of these programs. Career options are many: Education, Mental Health, Robotics, Behavior Therapy, Clinical or Medical Research, are just a few of the areas in which you might choose to work.
The Graduate Center – City University of New York, has a 5 year Doctoral Program in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience. Students are exposed to interdisciplinary training in the areas of Biology and Psychology under the guidance of CUNY faculty, and are also expected to take Research Rotations.
Rutgers University in New Jersey, also offers a doctorate in Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience, with interdisciplinary courses in the earlier part of the program. Students are expected to complete their Masters thesis within a given time frame, following which, those who qualify move on towards their research dissertation. The whole program should be completed within 4-5 years. The university offers Teaching Assistant posts as well as opportunities to teach summer school classes – a good way to supplement funding or to gain teaching experience. (
The Department of Psychology, University of York, (U.K.) runs an M.Sc. program in Cognitive Neuroscience. Students interested in this course must note that it falls under the Laboratory-based Taught Masters courses, and is not Classroom-based. “The overarching aim of the M.Sc. in Cognitive Neuroscience at York is to provide a bridge between undergraduate study and Ph.D. research in cognitive neuroscience, experimental psychology and imaging methods.” (>taught>cns) There are two options within this program: the M.Sc. pathway (Empirical Project), or the Diploma Pathway (Literature Review).