Behavioral Neuroscience

Information about the Behavioral Neuroscience Graduate Major.

Shepherd Ivory Franz, a pioneer in performing the first systematic studies on the effects of brain lesions on learning in animals, was the first chairman of the UCLA Department of Psychology. Franz encouraged an emphasis on physiological psychology within the Department, and this policy has been continued by each successive chairman. This commitment was further strengthened by a decision of the Regents of the University of California to make the Los Angeles campus especially strong in research pertaining to the structure and functions of the brain. Later, with the establishment of an on-campus major medical school and the founding of the Brain Research Institute, UCLA became a world leader in the neurobiological study of behavior. Some of the most distinguished scientists in this field are working here, and many more are attracted each year to do research or to visit and discuss their work. The Psychology Department both contributes to and profits from this strength, and has committed itself to continued excellence and growth in this direction.

Graduate students in the behavioral neuroscience program are encouraged to avail themselves of some of the many life science lecture and laboratory courses and seminars open to them. Through these and frequent colloquia presented by visiting scientists, students receive instruction in the methods and findings of past and recent years and are kept apprised of the most important current developments and future research trends. Along with the selected program of coursework, students are generally engaged in research under the supervision of one or more members of the area’s faculty or in the Brain Research Institute. A wide variety of research experience is possible, and during the initial years of graduate work, a student may be exposed to research experiences in several different laboratories.

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