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Moravian University
Catalog

Neuroscience

Director: Professor Fox
Associate Professor: Johnson

Neuroscience represents a relatively new but rapidly expanding area of study that brings together a variety of disciplines to explore the development, structure, functional activities and behavioral consequences of the nervous system. The neuroscience major at Moravian University emphasizes a collaborative multidisciplinary approach to understanding the intricate neural mechanisms underlying human and animal behavior. Students will experience a diverse yet integrated education focused on the relationship between biology and behavior from the introductory to advanced courses of study. Three areas of neuroscience emphasis have been developed (cellular neurobiology, behavioral neuroscience, and cognitive neuroscience) but all majors have a common core of courses.

As an interdisciplinary program, the neuroscience major draws upon the expertise of faculty in biology, psychology, philosophy, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and computer science. Completion of this program will culminate in a Bachelor of Science degree. Students considering postgraduate careers in neuroscience, experimental psychology, neuropsychology, pharmaceutical research, education, law and medicine are encouraged to pursue this major field of study.

Neuroscience Core Courses 

Seven (7) courses serve as the core of this major.

BIOL 111 Foundations of Biology
NEUR /BIOL 263 Neuroscience
NEUR 367 Introduction to Neuroscience Methodology
NEUR 373 Neuroscience Seminar
PSYC 120 Introduction to Psychology
PSYC 211 Experimental Methods and Data Analysis I
PSYC 212 Experimental Methods and Data Analysis II

Neuroscience Co-Requisite Courses

Seven (7) co-requisites are required for this major.

CHEM 113 & CHEM 114 General Chemistry
MATH 170 Analytical Geometry and Calculus I
or MATH 106 & MATH 166 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I with Review, Parts 1 and 2
PHYS 109-110 Introductory Physics for the Life Sciences
CHEM 211-212 Organic Chemistry
or CSCI 120-121 Computer Science I and II

CHEM 211 and CHEM 212 are required for those students pursuing an emphasis in cellular neurobiology or behavioral neuroscience. CSCI 120 and CSCI 121 are required in lieu of CHEM 211 and CHEM 212 for those students pursuing an emphasis in cognitive neuroscience.

Ethics course recommendations: due to the increased awareness of ethical implications associated with scientific research (for example, stem-cell research), it is important to educate neuroscience students in the field of ethics. Therefore, PHIL 222 Ethics (M3), PHIL 224 Applied Ethics, PHIL 259 Medical Ethics (U1), PHIL 281 Topics in Ethics or a similar course is strongly recommended.  

Neuroscience Elective Courses

The neuroscience major is designed to provide students with an opportunity to focus on one of three areas of emphasis: cellular neurobiology, behavioral neuroscience, or cognitive neuroscience. Students should select three of the following electives from one area of emphasis and one from a different area of neuroscience interest.

a) Cellular Neurobiology
   BIOL 210 Genetics
   BIOL 212 General Zoology
   BIOL 266 Cell & Molecular Biology
   BIOL/CHEM 328 Biochemistry II
   BIOL 350 Human Physiology
   BIOL 365 Advanced Genetics
   NEUR 381-384 Independent Study
   NEUR 386-389 Field Study
   NEUR 400-401 Honors
   
b) Behavioral Neuroscience
   BIOL/PSYC 250 Animal Behavior
   PSYC 320 Mind and Brain
   PSYC 335 Conditioning, Learning, and Behavior
   PSYC 362 Abnormal Psychology
   NEUR 381-384 Independent Study
   NEUR 386-389 Field Study
   NEUR 400-401 Honors
   
c) Cognitive Neuroscience
   CSCI 260 Artificial Intelligence
   PHIL/PSYC 251 Philosophy of Psychology
   PSYC 315 Cognitive Psychology
   PSYC 320 Mind and Brain
   PSYC 376 Seminar in Experimental/Cognitive Psychology
   NEUR 381-384 Independent Study
   NEUR 386-389 Field Study
   NEUR 400-401 Honors

Appropriate advanced courses offered by LVAIC institutions may be substituted for the above-mentioned electives with the prior approval of the neuroscience program director.

Courses in Neuroscience

NEUR 218. Brain Sex. In considering sex differences in the brain, a number of questions arise. Do biological factors, such as sex hormones, influence our sexual fate after our genetic information is established? Do biological factors make women more nurturing or men more aggressive? Do these same factors explain differences in sexual orientation? This course explores how scholars from a variety of disciplines attempt to provide answers to these questions that may have critical implications for understanding the social roles of men, women and LBTGQ individuals in today’s society as well as the different educational and emotional issues that they face. Empirical investigations and scientific theories from neurobiology, psychology, sociology and endocrinology that claim to explain gender similarities and differences are examined. (U1) 

NEUR 367. Introduction to Neuroscience Methodology. This course provides students with the background to understand the various experimental methods used in the field of neuroscience. Laboratory experiences and journal club discussions of primary scientific literature are used to develop skills in preparation for future neuroscience research endeavors. Students apply the fundamental techniques learned in this course to design their own research projects. Prerequisites: PSYC 212, BIOL 263, and CHEM 114, or permission of instructor.

NEUR 373. Neuroscience Seminar. This capstone course in the area of neuroscience is a writing-intensive seminar. Students research current scholarly literature on topics related to the field of neuroscience and compose research papers and oral presentations on a particular topic of interest. Emphasis is placed on effective literature searches, appropriate citations of scientific articles, analysis and interpretation of research data, thesis development and effective communication of scientific concepts. Prerequisites: Senior standing, and NEUR 367 or permission of instructor.

NEUR 190-199, 290-299, 390-399. Special Topics.
NEUR 286, 381-384. Independent Study.
NEUR 288, 386-388. Internship.
NEUR 400-401. Honors.