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Neuroscience

Neuroscience

With 100,000 miles of blood vessels, 1.1 trillion cells and 100 billion neurons – and some 70,000 thoughts a day – the human brain is one of the most complex structures in the universe.

#5

TOP STEM SCHOOLS FOR WOMEN
(USA Today College Guide 2017)

Neuroscience focuses on the relationships among brain function, cognitive processing and behavior. This truly interdisciplinary field is designed for students with interests that intersect the fields of biology and psychology.

As a Union College neuroscience major, you will begin your studies with a variety of core courses, including biology, psychologycomputer science and philosophy. Then you will select one of three tracks for specialization:

  • Bioscience: Focuses on the biological basis of neural development, function and plasticity
  • Cognitive: Addresses how neural networks and brain mechanisms give rise to specific mental processes and behavior; or
  • Computational: Emphasizes issues related to developing computational models of neuronal and mental processes.

"The Center for Neuroscience is a great home to connect with others in the field, a place in which to pursue how and why the brain works, from the study of neuroethology to the intricacies of cognitive processing."
- Lucas First

Our students work closely with faculty in the Center for Neuroscience, which includes five research laboratories and supports research and training in the areas of neuroplasticity; human cognitive abilities and behavioral dispositions; sex differences in spatial cognition; cognitive genetics; neural control of behavior.

Students also enjoy opportunities for summer research fellowships and participation in symposia, and most present at Union's Steinmetz Research Symposium each spring.

Neuroscience students pursue a wide range of research and clinical internships, and they go on to jobs in research centers and labs in university, government and health-care settings. They are also well prepared to attend graduate and medical schools.

Meet some of our faculty


Robert Olberg

Robert Olberg

Florence B. Sherwood Professor of Life Sciences
Ph.D., University of Washington
Special interests: Understanding the sensory control of behavior in insects

Kristina Striegnitz

Kristina Striegnitz

Assistant professor
Ph.D., Saarland University
Special interests: Natural language processing, embodied conversational agents, artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction

Scott Kirkton

Scott Kirkton

Associate Professor of Biology
Ph.D., Arizona State University
Special interests: How an insect’s body size alters the biochemistry, morphology, physiology and biomechanics of oxygen delivery, muscle performance and locomotion

Carol Weisse

Carol Weisse

Professor of Psychology
Ph.D., Uniformed Services University
Special interests: Medical psychology (stress and health), pain management, hospice and palliative care

After Union


Clinical research coordinator, Stephen E. & Catherine Pappas Center for Neuro-Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital

Educator, Teach for America

Image reading center manager, Johns Hopkins University

Associate editor, My Grove Media

Research assistant, Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center

Clinical research assistant, Massachusetts General Hospital