Behavioral Neuroscience Research Training
Research is strongly emphasized and the strength of our research programs has made the Psychology Department one of the strongest and most successful departments at Binghamton University. Students are expected to develop the ability to initiate, execute and interpret their own projects.
Lecture courses provide a broad foundation in scientific principles as well as detailed knowledge of their major areas; advanced seminars and hands-on research experiences bring students to the current frontiers of their specialties.
Graduate students benefit from this highly productive research atmosphere and are exposed to a wide variety of research programs by direct participation, research seminars and colloquia in which both faculty and students participate.
Philosophy of Graduate Training in Behavioral Neuroscience
The faculty in behavioral neuroscience take a vested interest in the success of our students and strive to provide them with the critical ingredients for a successful career in this rapidly changing and highly competitive field. To do this, our program emphasizes three principle areas of scientific training:
- breadth of knowledge is provided by intensive coursework, the theoretical framework provided by each student's mentor and regular interaction with visiting scholars in our colloquium series.
- analytical and methodological skills include the ability to critically design, evaluate and execute high-quality scientific experiments.
- scientific communication skills are addressed because the success of our students will ultimately depend on their ability to communicate ideas and discoveries through effective writing (grant applications and manuscripts) and speaking (colloquia and poster-style presentations).
Research Themes in Behavioral Neuroscience
The research interests of our faculty encompass a diverse range of topics. In addition, the highly collaborative atmosphere has fostered multidisciplinary and integrative studies in a number of areas:
- alcohol, drugs of abuse and addictive processes
- developmental psychobiology
- learning and memory processes
- biological rhythms and stress
- neurochemistry and psychopharmacology
- neural coding and computational neuroscience
Techniques Available in Behavioral Neuroscience
We strive to provide our students with the methodological tools to answer virtually any scientific question that is relevant to their research agenda:
- assays of neuronal function - radioimmunoassay, ligand-binding assays, HPLC, western blotting, ELISA, EIA and state-of-the-art electrophysiological recordings
- functional neuroanatomy – site-specific drug delivery via cannulations, neurotoxic lesions, light and electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry, ultrastructural changes in neural morphology.
- behavioral assessments - a diverse range of models sensitive to perturbations in affect (fear, anxiety and depression), motivation (addiction, appetite and social interaction) and cognition (learning, memory and decision making)