Brain and Cognitive Sciences

A collage of 8 images from the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Website, divided by a white grid.

The human brain is the most complex, sophisticated, and powerful information-processing device known.

To study its complexities, the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology combines the experimental technologies of neurobiology, neuroscience, and psychology, with the theoretical power that comes from the fields of computational neuroscience and cognitive science.

The Department was founded by Hans-Lukas Teuber in 1964 as a Department of Psychology, with the then-radical vision that the study of brain and mind are inseparable. Today, at a time of increasing specialization and fragmentation, our goal remains to understand cognition- its processes, and its mechanisms at the level of molecules, neurons, networks of neurons, and cognitive modules. We are unique among neuroscience and cognitive science departments in our breadth, and in the scope of our ambition. We span a very large range of inquiry into the brain and mind, and our work bridges many different levels of analysis including molecular, cellular, systems, computational and cognitive approaches.

Since the field of brain and cognitive sciences is relatively young and extremely dynamic, there is no single text that encompasses the subject matter covered in most of the classes offered by the department. To educate and train future scientists, readings are from primary journal articles or research papers. This approach provides broad coverage, as well as the depth needed, so that students are exposed to cutting-edge knowledge in the various specialties of neuroscience and cognitive science. Browsing the course materials in MIT OpenCourseWare, the jewels are revealed in the detailed reading lists that provide a window on the current thinking in each subject.

Central to our mission is the training of graduate students in the brain and cognitive sciences, and the education of undergraduate students. Our graduate students benefit from the comprehensiveness of our program as well as by conducting research with individual faculty members who are on the cutting edge of their fields. The Department recently expanded its undergraduate program to include both neuroscience and cognitive science and our major is now one of the fastest growing in the institute.

Brain and Cognitive Sciences Courses

Course # Course Title Level
9.00SC Introduction to Psychology (Fall 2011) Undergraduate
9.00 Introduction to Psychology (Fall 2004) Undergraduate
9.01 Introduction to Neuroscience Undergraduate
9.01 Neuroscience and Behavior Undergraduate
9.03 Neural Basis of Learning and Memory Undergraduate
9.04 Sensory Systems Undergraduate
9.05 Neural Basis of Movement Undergraduate
9.07 Statistical Methods in Brain and Cognitive Science Undergraduate
9.09J Cellular Neurobiology Undergraduate
9.10 Cognitive Neuroscience Undergraduate
9.12 Experimental Molecular Neurobiology Undergraduate
9.14 Brain Structure and Its Origins Undergraduate
9.15 Biochemistry and Pharmacology of Synaptic Transmission (Fall 2007) Undergraduate
9.16 Cellular Neurophysiology (Spring 2002) Undergraduate
9.17 Systems Neuroscience Lab Undergraduate
9.18 Developmental Neurobiology (Spring 2005) Undergraduate
9.19J Cognitive & Behavioral Genetics (Spring 2001) Undergraduate
9.20 Animal Behavior Undergraduate
9.22J A Clinical Approach to the Human Brain Undergraduate
9.29J Introduction to Computational Neuroscience (Spring 2004) Undergraduate
9.35 Sensation And Perception Undergraduate
9.458 Parkinson's Disease Workshop Undergraduate
9.459 Scene Understanding Symposium Undergraduate
9.48J Philosophical Issues in Brain Science Undergraduate
9.51 Affective Priming at Short and Extremely Short Exposures Undergraduate
9.52-A Investigating the Neural Substrates of Remote Memory using fMRI Undergraduate
9.52-B Topics in Brain and Cognitive Sciences Human Ethology Undergraduate
9.52-C Computational Cognitive Science (Spring 2003) Undergraduate
9.56J Abnormal Language Undergraduate
9.57J Language Acquisition Undergraduate
9.59J Psycholinguistics Undergraduate
9.63 Laboratory in Visual Cognition Undergraduate
9.63 Laboratory in Cognitive Science Undergraduate
9.65 Cognitive Processes Undergraduate
9.66J Computational Cognitive Science (Fall 2004) Undergraduate
9.67 Object and Face Recognition Undergraduate
9.68 Affect: Neurobiological, Psychological and Sociocultural Counterparts of "Feelings" Undergraduate
9.69 Foundations of Cognition Undergraduate
9.70 Social Psychology Undergraduate
9.71 Functional MRI of High-Level Vision Undergraduate
9.75J Psychology of Gender Undergraduate
9.85 Infant and Early Childhood Cognition Undergraduate
9.912J Introduction to Computational Neuroscience (Spring 2004) Undergraduate
9.93 Marathon Moral Reasoning Laboratory Undergraduate
9.93 Cognitive Neuroscience of Remembering: Creating and Controlling Memory Undergraduate
9.97 Introduction to Neuroanatomy Undergraduate
9.98 Neuropharmacology Undergraduate
9.98 Language and Mind Undergraduate
9.011 The Brain and Cognitive Sciences I Graduate
9.012 The Brain and Cognitive Sciences II (Spring 2006) Graduate
9.012 The Brain and Cognitive Sciences II (Spring 2002) Graduate
9.013J Cell and Molecular Neurobiology Graduate
9.036 The Visual System Graduate
9.044J Brain Mechanisms for Hearing and Speech Graduate
9.081 Human Memory and Learning Graduate
9.110J Neurology, Neuropsychology, and Neurobiology of Aging Graduate
9.123 Neurotechnology in Action Graduate
9.150 Biochemistry and Pharmacology of Synaptic Transmission (Fall 2007) Graduate
9.161 Cellular Neurophysiology (Spring 2002) Graduate
9.173J Noninvasive Imaging in Biology and Medicine Graduate
9.181J Developmental Neurobiology (Spring 2005) Graduate
9.191 Cognitive & Behavioral Genetics (Spring 2001) Graduate
9.201 Advanced Animal Behavior Graduate
9.250 Evolutionary Psychology Graduate
9.285J Neural Coding and Perception of Sound Graduate
9.301J Neural Plasticity in Learning and Development Graduate
9.322J Genetic Neurobiology Graduate
9.357 Special Topics in Vision Science Graduate
9.520 Statistical Learning Theory and Applications (Spring 2006) Graduate
9.520 Statistical Learning Theory and Applications (Spring 2003) Graduate
9.520-A Networks for Learning: Regression and Classification Graduate
9.530 Cellular and Molecular Computation Graduate
9.531J Systems Biology Graduate
9.587J The Lexicon and Its Features Graduate
9.591J Language Processing Graduate
9.601J Language Acquisition I Graduate
9.611J Natural Language and the Computer Representation of Knowledge Graduate
9.641J Introduction to Neural Networks Graduate
9.660J Computational Cognitive Science (Fall 2004) Graduate
9.675 The Development of Object and Face Recognition Graduate
9.911 Reasonable Conduct in Science Graduate
9.912 Special Topics in Brain and Cognitive Sciences Graduate
9.913 Pattern Recognition for Machine Vision Graduate
9.913-A Intensive Neuroanatomy Graduate
9.914 Special Topics: Genetics, Neurobiology, and Pathophysiology of Psychiatric Disorders Graduate
9.916 Special Topics: Social Animals Graduate
9.916 The Neural Basis of Visual Object Recognition in Monkeys and Humans Graduate
9.916 Modularity, Domain-specificity, and the Organization of Knowledge Graduate
9.916-A Probability and Causality in Human Cognition Graduate
9.95-A Research Topics in Neuroscience Graduate
9.96 Experimental Methods of Adjustable Tetrode Array Neurophysiology Graduate
9.S915 Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Graduate

Archived Brain and Cognitive Sciences Courses

Some prior versions of courses listed above have been archived in OCW's DSpace@MIT repository for long-term access and preservation. Links to archived prior versions of a course may be found on that course's "Other Versions" tab.

Additionally, the Archived Brain and Cognitive Sciences Courses page has links to every archived course from this department.