Assistant Professors Ambegaokar, Bailey, Pyzza
Neuroscience is a rapidly developing interdisciplinary field of study whose primary focus is understanding the neural mechanisms that regulate mental processes and behavior in both humans and animals. At Ohio Wesleyan, the neuroscience program combines courses in Psychology, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics and Computer Science to provide students adequate preparation for graduate study and a career in the field of neuroscience or a related discipline.
The Neuroscience program at OWU is grouped into 3 research themes:
1) behavioral and cognitive neuroscience, which includes topics such as cognitive processes and executive function, emotion, and the neural control of behaviors;
2) molecular & cellular neuroscience, which includes topics such as synaptic function, neuronal development, and neurogenetics; and
3) computational neuroscience, which seeks to model the “algorithms” used by neurons and neuronal networks as information processors and regulators.
The Molecular/Cellular Neuroscience track aligns closely with students interested in studying the brain from a “bottom-up” approach that investigates the cell biology of brain cells, genetic regulation, and the interactions of molecules (e.g. protein, DNA, RNA) in these cells, and how these interactions give rise to more complex behaviors.
The Behavioral/Cognitive Neuroscience track aligns closely with students interested in studying the brain from a “top-down” approach that investigates complex behaviors and functions, especially as related to human behavior, and determine the cellular and molecular underpining of these behaviors.
Computational Neuroscience involves both mathematically modeling neurobiological processes and studying the means by which neural systems process information, which requires strong training in math, physics, and computer science.
Neuroscience majors must declare either the Behavioral/Cognitive Track or the Molecular/Cellular Track. The requirements for either track have significant course overlap to ensure all majors have the same “core” knowledge. The major difference between the two tracks lie in the upper-level electives that count towards the major.
Postgraduate study in fields such as neuroscience research, medicine or other clinical professions such as physician assistance or nursing, or research in other biological or psychological disciplines are common.
Students who are considering a major in neuroscience should contact Dr. Ambegaokar (Director; BOMI), Dr. Bailey (Psychology), or Dr. Pyzza (Mathematics).
It is not possible to double-major Neuroscience and Computational Neuroscience.