Mind/Brain/Behavior

Knowledge about mind, brain, and behavior is expanding exponentially. Recent years have witnessed a growing excitement about the possibility that complex domains of mental function and behavior will soon be susceptible to scientific elucidation. Important findings have arisen from traditional disciplines of inquiry, and indeed these traditional disciplines have proven remarkably successful at expanding knowledge. These successes, however, also bring into relief the limits of disciplinary inquiry, and the critical importance of inter-disciplinary links and developments, bringing to the fore new technologies and theories.

The Mind/Brain/Behavior Initiative (MBB) was established to bring the perspectives of neuroscience into sustained and constructive dialogue with those of other natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities. In designing its undergraduate programs, MBB has brought together a diverse group of faculty from Harvard's different schools and disciplines, and has taken advantage of the intellectual innovations possible in new combinations of these traditional disciplines. MBB offers both (1) tracks that integrate the study of mind/brain/behavior with concentration requirements and (2) the secondary field, which is available to students from any concentration who wish to study mind/brain/behavior.

Requirements: 5 half-courses

  1. Science of Living Systems 20: Psychological Science (recommended first year). Students who have previously taken Science B-29 or B-62 may count that course instead.

  2. Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) 80: Neurobiology of Behavior (recommended sophomore year)

  3. Interdisciplinary Seminar (recommended junior year)

  4. Selected from a list that varies each year.

  5. Two Mind/Brain/Behavior Courses

  6. Selected from a list that varies each year.

Other Information

By prior petition, the MBB courses in Requirement 4 above may include courses taken abroad, undergraduate courses not on the list, or graduate courses in anthropology, computer science, history of science, linguistics, philosophy, and psychology.

All courses must be taken for a letter grade. Students are also encouraged to attend the MBB sophomore symposium and junior symposium, and are welcome to join the student organization Harvard Society for Mind/Brain/Behavior (HSMBB).

Advising Resources and Expectations

Students considering a secondary field in MBB should e-mail education program coordinator Shawn Harriman (shawn_harriman@harvard.edu) as early as possible to allow MBB to keep them informed of important policies, events, and other opportunities. Shawn can also answer general questions, and will sign the official secondary field paperwork once the required courses have been completed.

Students are also strongly encouraged to meet with MBB faculty to discuss their interests and course options. Information on the MBB Board of Faculty Advisors is available at http://mbb.harvard.edu/undergrad/advising0910.php .