Learning & Behavior

Information about the Learning & Behavior Graduate Major

The learning and behavior program brings together scholars working on both basic and applied aspects of learned and instinctive behavior.  Much of the areas research emphasizes animal models of basic learning and memory processes.  Areas of special interest include: the neural basis of conditioning, emotion and motivation, mechanisms of anxiety disorders & depression, acquisition of cognitive and temporal maps, habit and goal directed action.

The aim of the Ph.D. program is to train the student for a career in research, scholarship, and teaching. Programs are arranged to fit individual students’ requirements. The most important aspects of students’ training are gained from their work in the laboratory and from their participation in advanced seminars. Students are encouraged to develop their technical competence in related areas such as mathematics, computer sciences, physiology, pharmacology, zoology, anthropology, linguistics, and education. For the advanced student, there is frequently an opportunity to gain valuable teaching experience by teaching a learning laboratory course for undergraduates.

The experimental techniques and findings of learning and behavior are basic to many other areas of psychology, including social, personality, clinical, and developmental. Students in these areas are encouraged to maximize their skills in the area of learning and behavior, and majors in learning and behavior are encouraged to apply their knowledge and skills to the solution of problems in these other areas. For a list of Required Courses please see the Psychology Handbook.