Behavioral Neuroscience Course - EXPLO

Behavioral Neuroscience

Learn the inner-workings of our senses through a series of experiments based on smell, sight, taste, touch, and hearing.

In this course, conduct experiments on the optical system and motor commands, discovering how fast action potentials travel through neurons. To understand how we develop our sense of taste, examine papillae on the tongue to evaluate a subject’s sensitivity to a variety of foods. And to better see how neural pathways work, perform a dissection of a sheep brain. Explore the ways humans create memories, acquire knowledge, and perform other cognitive tasks. Then, investigate how the brain reacts to synthetic stimuli like opioids, narcotics, and barbiturates. Throughout this series of experiments, collect and analyze data and formulate conclusions about how our brains function – developing an overall better understanding not just of neuroscience but also of the scientific process.

Who Should Take This Course?

This course is ideal for students with a passion for hands-on scientific exploration. Engage in a brain dissection to learn firsthand about the intricacies of the nervous system, gain a deeper understanding of neural activity, and observe medical professionals as they work with advanced technology in a clinical setting.

Advisors + Past Speakers

  • Dr. Jonathan Simon, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland
  • Max Newlon, Research Scientist, BrainCo
  • Dr. Marc Tetel, Neuroscience Professor + Program Director, Wellesley College
  • Dr. Wei-Chung Allen Lee, Assistant Professor, Neurology, Harvard Medical School
  • Dr. Marvin Chun, Dean of Yale College, and Professor of Psychology, Yale School of Medicine

Plan your summer


Course Highlights

  • Career Exploration

    You’ll learn about the the wide range of careers in the field of behavioral neuroscience, meet practicing professionals on-site, and explore the various paths you can take to build a successful career.

  • Experimental design with C. elegans

    Students design and test behavioral responses to stress in the model organism, C. elegans (nematode worm) and learn about the underlying neural mechanisms.

  • Cognition, Brain Mechanisms + Behaviors

    Design an interactive exhibit that demonstrates how animals learn and behave. Related concepts include memory, language, attention, and intelligence.

  • Cushing/Whitney Medical Library

    Tour the historic library, viewing brain tumor specimens, as well as historic medical photographs, instruments, specimens, and research.

  • MRI Laboratory

    Meet professionals in the field, learn to read brain scans, and view the MRI simulator.

  • Effects of Drugs

    Examine photographs of neurons of people given morphine to see its impact on the nervous system.

Behavioral Neuroscience was an awesome, interesting, and interactive course that taught me more about the brain than anything else so far. I really loved getting to learn about real world experiences and connecting that to neuroscience concepts.

Advisors + Past Speakers

Dr. Jonathan Simon

Assistant Professor, University of Maryland

Dr. Jonathan Simon is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland College Park in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Department of Biology, and the Institute for Systems Research. Simon’s research interests are applied and theoretical neuroscience. He earned his doctorate in physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and did postdoctoral research in theoretical general relativity (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and University of Maryland-College Park) before embracing the field of neuroscience.

Dr. Marc Tetel

Neuroscience Professor + Program Director, Wellesley College

Dr. Marc Tetel is the Dorothy and Charles Jenkins, Jr. Distinguished Professor at Wellesley College. Tetel’s research areas include neuroendocrinology, estrogen and progestin action, and brain and behavior. Tetel directs the Neuroscience Department at Wellesley and teaches at all levels within the program.

Dr. Wei-Chung Allen Lee

Assistant Professor, Neurology, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Wei-Chung Allen Lee is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School as well as a researcher at the Children’s Hospital Neurobiology Center. Having completed his post bachelor work at both MIT and Harvard University, Lee received a fellowship from the National Eye Institute. His research is currently supported by the National Institutes of Health BRAIN Initiative.

Dr. Marvin Chun

Dean of Yale College, and Professor of Psychology, Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Marvin Chun, Dean of Yale College, and the Richard M. Colgate Professor of Psychology, Dr. Chun leads a cognitive neuroscience laboratory at the Yale University School of Medicine. Also an award-winning professor, Chun’s undergraduate course Introduction to Psychology is one of the largest at Yale College and has been recognized many times. Chun has authored psychology textbooks, serves on several Boards, and acts as an advisor on the Nike Performance Council.