Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience
The Cognitive Neuroscience doctoral program is designed to train researchers who will contribute to knowledge in several major areas: visual perception including the perception of motion in 3D space, visual information processing, and related cognitive processes; human spatial orientation and movement control, including adaptation to unusual force environments; and human memory including the construction of mathematical models and study of the effects of aging.
The program emphasizes intensive research training within an individual laboratory in addition to the required coursework. Research on spatial orientation is performed in the Graybiel Laboratory, research on memory resides in the Volen Center for Complex Systems, and visual perception laboratories reside in both the Psychology Department and the Volen Center. Students interested in cognitive science may emphasize one of these areas of study within psychology.
The cognitive neuroscience program in the Volen Center for Complex Systems integrates traditional experimental psychology with the interdisciplinary orientation of the center. Seminars typically draw graduate students from computer science, neuroscience and psychology. Students are encouraged to do rotations with other faculty members in the center. The goal of the program is to develop competent researchers in cognitive science who will become contributors to the state of knowledge in this interdisciplinary field. An emphasis is placed on research activity starting in the first term of graduate study. The program of study reflects a belief that the student should develop an area of research specialization and also be exposed to the range of topics represented by the broad interests of the faculty in the center. Dissertation supervision is available in the following areas: vision, space perception and motor control, human memory (integrating experimental and modeling approaches), speech perception and memory in adult aging, neural networks and neuropsychology.
The general requirements for admission to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences apply to candidates for admission to this area of study. An undergraduate major in psychology is not required. In general, applicants should have a strong science background typically including some experience with computer programming and at least one year of college level mathematics. Students are admitted on a competitive basis, which includes evaluation of previous academic records, recommendations and results of the Graduate Record Examination.