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Graduate Study

Graduate Admissions

So far, Cognitive Neuroscience graduate students have come to Penn through two Graduate Group programs, Psychology and Neuroscience. Both are PhD programs; both can also be combined with medical school at Penn for an MD-PhD program.

Applying to Penn
Online Application

Contacting the graduate groups:

Psychology Graduate Group 3815 Walnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19104-6196 215. 8985663
All inquiries: dgs[at] (Dr. Jonathan Baron)

Neuroscience Graduate Group 140 Johnson Pavilion Philadelphia, PA 19104-6060 215. 898.8048 (phone) 215. 573.2248 (fax)
Application request and inquiries: hoshij[at] (Ms. Jane Hoshi)

Department Course Number Course Description
Neuroscience 594 Computational Neuroscience & Engineering
  595 Behavioral Neuroscience
  598 Systems Neuroscience
Psychology 604 Proseminar in Cognitive Neuroscience
  630 Proseminar in Cognitive Neuroscience in Memory
    Cognitive Neuroscience of Vision
provisionally planned for Spring 2002-2003
  745 Special Topics: Cognitive Neuroscience


INSC 594. Computational Neuroscience. Prerequisite(s): Previous coursework in physiology and in differential equations and some familiarity with computers, or instructor's permission. Theoretical studies of neural function from the molecular to the cognitive level.  Emphasis on organization and function of neural maps, synaptic plasticity, vision, and recent neural network models of higher brain functions and on neurobiological problems that are well suited to computational study.

INSC 595. Behavioral Neuroscience. Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor. This course on the neural basis of behavior is organized in three subsections: neuroethology, motivation, and learning.  Neuroethology focuses on a variety of exemplary topics including navigation, prey capture, animal communication, and generation of motor patterns.  The motivation section covers the regulation of behavior and internal states as mediated by internal receptors for signals coding for energy, water, and thermal balance; neural control of circadian and sexual behaviors is also included.  The modification of behavior as a result of experience is explored in the third section on learning. Throughout the course, attention is paid both to analysis of the neural basis of interesting behaviors and to the use of behavior as a tool for understanding neural processing.

INSC 598. Systems Neuroscience. Prerequisite(s): Permission of course director. This is a relatively advanced course aimed at the modern neuroscience of selected systems, especially vision and movement, including eye movements. Considerable emphasis will be placed on the relationships between behavior and observable neural events.  Other topics include: quantitative spike train analysis; system identification; plasticity; and functional connectivity. Each week there are two lectures and a small group discussion in which one or two important papers are analyzed in detail.

PSY 604. Proseminar in Cognitive Neuroscience. This course will review what has been learned about the neural mechanisms underlying intelligent behavior in humans and animals. The course will be organized by the traditional topic areas of cognitive science, specifically, vision (early vision through object recognition), attention, learning and memory, motor control, planning and problem-solving, and language. Within each topic, we will attempt to integrate the results of the different neuroscience approaches to each topic, including the study of neurological patients, lesion studies in animals, single unit recordings, neural network modelling, and functional imaging techniques.

PSY 630. Proseminar in Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory. This course will review the neural mechanisms of learning and memory. Readings will include both seminal and cutting-edge papers on topics ranging from perceptual memory to higher order functions, including working memory, declarative memory, skill learning, and semantic memory. Within each topic we will attempt to integrate the results of different neuroscience approaches, including the study of human neurological patients, lesion studies and single unit recordings in animals, neural network modeling, event-related potentials, and functional imaging techniques.

PSY 745. Special Topics: Cognitive Neuroscience. Weekly seminar taught by Martha Farah, devoted to the discussion of published papers and students' ongoing projects. Wednesdays, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the CCN Kitchen (3810 Walnut Street, 3rd floor).


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Center for Cognitiver Neuroscience
University of Pennsylvania

Last Modified: 31 January, 2012


University of Pennsylvania University of Pennsylvania Center for Cognitive Neuroscience