Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary field, drawing upon biology, psychology, and philosophy to understand the mind, how the brain functions, and the role of the nervous system in normal and abnormal behavior.
The Neuroscience major curriculum represents the interdisciplinary nature of the field. The core Neuroscience curriculum consists of seven courses that cover the biological, psychological, and philosophical roots of neuroscience, as well as three elective courses that majors select from an array of course offerings in the three core disciplines. In addition, Neuroscience majors complete a minimum of one semester of senior work, either as part of a small seminar class or by conducting research with a Neuroscience faculty member.
The Neuroscience curriculum offers extensive hands-on laboratory experience for students as part of the major's formal coursework, senior thesis work, and student-faculty research collaborations. Neuroscience researchers at Middlebury study a wide array of topics such as adult neurogenesis, the development of alcohol tolerance, the neural bases of cognitive flexibility, neural control of behavior, sex differences in spatial processing, the physiological bases of psychological trauma, and the bases of memory.
Neuroscience faculty and students utilize state-of-the-art facilities for both laboratory-based coursework and scholarly research.
Who am I? How should we live?
What can we know? What can I hope for?
Many of these most basic questions are developed in depth by different branches of philosophy. For instance, ethics asks: what is good and bad, right and wrong? What is justice? Epistemology asks: what is knowledge as opposed to mere opinion or belief? How do we justify knowledge claims? Aesthetics asks: what is art and what is beauty? Logic asks: what are the rules of critical thinking and sound argument?
Philosophy encourages us to uncover presuppositions, to scrutinize arguments, and to reflect clearly and creatively about the most fundamental questions informing our legal, political, scientific, artistic, and moral pursuits. The Philosophy Department at Middlebury explores these pursuits through a diverse offering of courses, on topics both historical and contemporary. Students well-versed in philosophy gain outstanding preparation for graduate study and law school, as well as for medicine, business, and many other professions.