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Mind, Brain, and Behavior

Professors: Wolf (program director)

Associate Professors: Bayline, S. Fee, Holland-Minkley, Klitz

The Mind, Brain, and Behavior Program has been developed in accord with Washington & Jefferson's college-wide initiative for innovative academic programs that are organized around common issues rather than traditional disciplines. In this spirit, the Mind, Brain, and Behavior Program is designed to offer a multidisciplinary framework for students interested in the mechanisms underlying behavior. This program builds on W&J's strengths in biology, philosophy, and psychology. It also complements the development of new programs in neuroscience and information technology.

The overall mission of the program is to utilize insights gained from interdisciplinary discourse to improve human self-understanding, to educate students in new methods designed to investigate human experience, and to foster collaborative scholarship that would not be possible within traditional disciplines.

Students in the program will have the advantage of gaining an interdisciplinary perspective on their area of interest before pursuing more specialized study after graduation. Appropriate professional and academic fields for students graduating from the Mind, Brain, and Behavior Program include medicine, law, speech and hearing, education, biology (neuroscience), philosophy, cognitive science, and psychology.

Students will also develop skills as critical thinkers and problem solvers, and will learn to present themselves clearly through academic writing while considering broader theoretical implications. Mind, brain, and behavior students also will be encouraged to conduct empirical research and to present their findings as a poster or paper at an internal or regional undergraduate conference. They will have the opportunity to study with faculty in a variety of disciplines who have a strong interest in the mind-brain system. Among the specific scholarly interests of mind, brain, and behavior faculty are applied behavior analysis, biofeedback, computational modeling of cognitive processes, developmental neurobiology of motor control, development of visual perception and cognition in human infants, evolutionary psychology, human learning, perceptual and cognitive processes in reading, philosophy of mind and language, and psychology and the law.

Students will begin the program with an integrative introductory course, and then concentrate in one of three specialty tracks in psychology, biology, or philosophy. Students will also take two courses in each of the other two tracks. The program will conclude with a capstone project in the student's specialty track. For those majoring in biology, psychology, or philosophy, the program requires five courses beyond the major.


Psychology: PSY 101; 102; 215; 225, 285, 311, or 265; 406, 485, 425, or 475 (capstone)

Biology: BIO 101, 102, 206, 235, 435 (capstone)

Philosophy: PHL 123, 222, 242, 450 (capstone)

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