Neuroscience and Animal Behavior

Graduate Program

Emphases and Goals

The program in Neuroscience and Animal Behavior (NAB) approaches topics within the areas of neuroscience, physiological psychology, acquired behavior, and ethology as a unified entity. Thus, the emphasis is on behavior as a biological phenomenon. Research in neuroscience and physiological psychology explores brain-behavior relationships; research on acquired behavior studies the on-going and evolutionary factors influencing individual adaptations; and ethological studies are concerned with understanding how animals function in their natural environment. The blend of these concerns in the NAB program represents our conviction that a comprehensive understanding of behavior requires knowledge of the why and how of natural behavior, the manner in which the current environment influences behavior, and the neural and physiological processes underlying both. Our research is conducted primarily with animal subjects, although human studies are also performed by some of our faculty, and we seek to apply findings to understanding human as well as animal behavior and cognition.

Students with strong research interests in the neural and evolutionary bases of behavior, animal cognition, behavioral endocrinology, sensory processes, social behavior and communication, and the interrelations between these areas are especially encouraged to apply for admission.

There is substantial overlap in the topics investigated by members of the NAB and C&D programs. Students are encouraged to collaborate with any laboratory that represents their interests and will advance their training. In reflection of these facts, students may apply to either program individually, or to both programs simultaneously. If you wish to apply to both the NAB and the C&D programs, simply select both from the application menu. You will then be able to identify faculty of interest to you from either program.

For more information on the NAB program, please explore the links above. Questions may be directed to Dr. Robert Hampton, NAB Program Director.