Behavioral Neuroscience Vision.

In Behavioral neuroscience (BNS) we examine the relationship between the nervous system and behavior.  Broadly speaking, our group studies the underlying neural mechanisms of sensory integration, attention, learning and memory, movement and motivation. We explore how genes, synaptic pharmacology, neurons and neuronal ensembles as well as specific brain circuits and brain states regulate behavior and cognition. To explore structure-function relationships, we employ a broad range of techniques including: anatomy, electrophysiology, neurochemistry, pharmacology, immediate early gene activation, opto- and chemo-genetics, genetic manipulation, animal models of neurological and psychiatric disorders, and computational modeling. BNS is home to multiple research laboratories as well as two core facilities that are both designed to foster innovative and collaborative research. The “Murine Behavioral Neurogenetics Facility” (MBNF) evaluates gene function and identifies behavioral phenotypes associated with human disorders (e.g., alcoholism, depression, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autism, dyslexia), using mouse models of genes identified in humans via collaborative efforts with the “Center for Genomic Mouse Modification”.   The “Interdisciplinary Neuroscience core” (INC) is a team of behavioral neuroscientists, neurobiologists and engineers working together to develop robust optogenetic tools for brain computer interface.  One common research goal for all of BNS is to further basic science and understanding of how the brain works.  A second fundamental goal is to ultimately make a positive impact on society by developing tools that allow us to predict, enhance and clinically treat behavioral outcomes.

Behavioral Neuroscience Graduate Program Vision.

Our BNS graduate program prepares the next generation of neuroscientists to think creatively and critically in order to answer scientific questions.   BNS faculty are dedicated to mentoring graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to be strong and effective scholars, educators and scientists.  Towards this end we work as a team to mentor students in scientific presentations.  There are several research collaborations amongst BNS faculty that mentor students in collaborative science.  We provide graduate courses that prepare students from BNS and other colleges in behavioral neuroscience, neurophysiology, neuropharmacology, computational neuroscience, federal grant writing, MATLAB computer programming and more.