Psychology

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Neurosciences in the Psychology Department

Graduate

The neurosciences are a vibrant part of graduate and undergraduate education in psychology at George Mason University.  Faculty in several psychology programs contribute to this effort. At the graduate level, students can access neuroscience training through several different programs. The information here will familiarize you with the options. Programs at both the MA and PhD levels include:

The Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience Program

Largely focused on behavioral neuroscience, and the neural underpinnings of behavior, this program is primarily based on research in rats and mice. Facilities include housing for animals, an extensive selection of video-based testing equipment, and state-of-the-art microscopy and neural imaging facilities. Read More >>>

The Human Factors/Applied Cognition Program

Several faculty within this program have Cognitive Neuroscience interests and research programs in humans that incorporate noninvasive imaging using the Krasnow Institute 3-T fMRI. Additional imaging facilities at the Arch Lab in the Psychology Department include electrophysiological measures such as 64- and 128-channel EEG, functional near infra-red spectroscopy (fNIRS) and Transcranial Doppler Sonography (TCD), as well as an MRI-guided Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) system. Read more >>

The Applied Developmental Psychology Program

One faculty member in developmental psychology has a research program which focuses on development of emotions in children, with noninvasive imaging a part of that research effort. Read more >>

Emerging faculty interests and new faculty hires are continually strengthening the neurosciences within psychology. The range of graduate coursework in the department allows graduate students to ground their neuroscience interests in a rich knowledge of behavior.

The web pages of the individual graduate programs above include faculty descriptions and research interests, program requirements, program resources, etc. Students interested in neuroscience should review them for more information.

In addition to these programs within the Psychology Department, neurosciences at Mason includes an interdisciplinary Neurosciences PhD. The Neurosciences PhD incorporates faculty from many departments, including the Psychology, Molecular Neuroscience, and Molecular and Microbiology. Some faculty in Psychology have research collaborations with faculty from these units, and a few have collaborations with the rich neuroscience resources within the region, such as the National Institutes of Health and the new Howard Hughes Janelia Farms neuroscience campus.

At Mason, these multiple programs interact easily and frequently. Students from all programs are encouraged to attend the Krasnow Institute Monday seminars and frequent program-based brown bag lunches, and to join Students in Neuroscience (SIN), which is budgeted to support student presentations at conferences such as the Society for Neuroscience. By individual arrangement, students in one program may work with faculty in other programs to learn new techniques or for thesis/dissertation work.

While the boundaries between programs are quite permeable, program requirements differ. Students should review program requirements to select the best match for their educational interests, and advisor based on match of research interests. Advisors need not be within the same program a student is admitted to. Interested students are urged to contact individual faculty or program directors to discuss their interests.

Undergraduate

The Department of Psychology also hosts a BS in Neuroscience and Minor in Neuroscience. These are interdisciplinary programs emphasizing the relationship between the biology and chemistry of the nervous system and the behavior of an organism.

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