2020-2021 Catalog 
    Aug 19, 2022  
2020-2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Neuroscience Major: Molecular and Cellular Track

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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.

Learning Objectives


1. Students will acquire the core knowledge, skills, and experiences relevant to the study of the brain.

2. Students will be able to develop hypotheses, design experiments, carry out these experiments and interpret data for a question related to a neuroscience problem.

3. Students will be able to think beyond single-discipline borders when they attempt to solve scientific problems.

4. Students will be able to access, read and gain insight from the primary neuroscience literature.

5. Students will have the opportunity to participate in original research.

6. Students will be able to effectively communicate neuroscience concepts and their relevance to audiences with varying levels of scientific expertise.

Neuroscience core courses (9):

Required for all Neuroscience majors.

1 from the following (Behavioral & Cognitive Neuroscience):

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