Research Programs

Research Programs

We believe that the key to understanding the mind lies in a fundamental understanding of the brain. That is why we bring cognitive science and neuroscience together under the same intellectual roof. With top-notch faculty and research disciplines that range from molecular, cellular and systems neuroscience to computation and cognitive science, our students are seeking answers to tough but critically important questions.

Our comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach and truly collaborative environment gives students the freedom to shape their research work across disciplines, departments, and research centers. 

Our students have access to the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, other research institutes, and on-site facilities for fMRI and MEG imaging. This gives them access to world-class technology and resources. 

Perhaps most importantly, our students find a creative, passionate, and diverse community that truly supports the work of each of its members. 

Clinical Rotation Opportunity

BCS Clinical Experience at MGH for Graduate Students

Course Description: Dr. Thomas N. Byrne, Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, will mentor the students attending seminars in clinical neurology and neuropsychiatry conferences at Massachusetts General Hospital. Students will learn about the pathogenesis, diagnosis, management and therapeutic clinical trials of diseases of the nervous system. These seminars are conducted by clinical and basic science faculty of Harvard Medical School and attended by Harvard faculty, fellows, residents and medical students at MGH.

Each clinical experience will be one week, and a student will have the option to attend up to four seminars in their individual week. . Each conference lasts an hour and is followed by a discussion of the material with Tom Byrne.

Priority will be given to BCS graduate students. In addition, slots will also be available to MIT undergraduate students based on availability, with priority given to students enrolled in Dr. Mriganka Sur's 9.24: Disorders and Diseases of the Nervous System.  Interested students should contact Meredith Canode.

The seminars available with the days and times are as follows, schedule is subject to change:

Monday 12:00 Alzheimer’s disease
Wednesday 5:00-6:00 Functional Neurosurgery
Wednesday 1:00 Neuroradiology
Wednesday 1:00 Neuropsychiatry multidisciplinary seminar.
Thursday 8:00 am Didactic seminar for neuropsychiatry
Thursday 9:00 am Neurology Grand Rounds
Thursday 8:30 am Neuropsychiatry
Thursday 11:00 am Neuro-oncology
Thursday 11:00 am Neuropsychiatry Fellowship Conference
Thursday 12:00 pm Psychiatry Grand Rounds
Thursday 12:00 pm Movement Disorders
Thursday 1:00 pm Neuroradiology
Thursday 2:00 pm in Navy Yard, Charlestown Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation discussion of candidates
Friday 7:30 am or 8:30 am Brain Cutting
Friday 12:30 pm and 1:00 pm Epilepsy

We are confident that this new experience will provide students with a clinical translational perspective and may lead to future collaborations.

BrainLunch and CogLunch Seminars

BrainLunch and CogLunch are weekly, student-organized seminar series at which MIT Brain and Cognitive Sciences graduate students (and occasionally postdoctoral or non-BCS students) present their research on brain and cognitive science related issues. These sessions — both informal and informative — are a long-standing department tradition. Announcements with information time and location are sent weekly.

Advance training programs for years 3-4

The department’s Program in the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (NLM) was conceived to provide a track for advanced graduate students (years 3-4) to apply complex, interdisciplinary approaches to the common intellectual theme of how information is stored in the nervous system and how these mechanisms go awry in mental illnesses. The program emphasizes an in-depth immersion in the neurobiology of learning and memory, preparing these talented student scientists for professional careers devoted to the scientific investigation of how information is stored and accessed by the nervous system and the application of this knowledge to relieve the burden of mental illness.