At the heart of neuroscience is the study of systems. Molecular mechanisms of transcriptional regulation underlie persistent synaptic plasticity and thereby mediate learning and memory. Decoding the information content of spike trains requires an understanding of the higher-order architectures of the neural circuits in which they are embedded. The adaptations of sensory systems to efficiently encode and interpret natural scenes reflect the species' ecological niche and evolutionary descent. The analysis of cognitive processes depends on understanding the allocation of metabolic resources, from adenosine triphosphate to selective attention. The larger questions in neuroscience require an integrated approach.
Neuroscience at Cornell University, Ithaca campus, emphasizes an integrated and interdisciplinary approach that spans these levels of analysis. The research of our faculty encompasses neuroscience from human cognition to biophysics, including diverse experimental and computational approaches using a variety of model organisms. Graduate students acquire expertise in their primary disciplines while cultivating a broader understanding of the bigger picture.
The Program in Neuroscience spans several graduate fields and includes faculty affiliated with many departments. Students affiliate with a graduate field reflecting their areas of interest but are free to choose mentors among all associated faculty. Collaborations among research groups are particularly encouraged. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the available breadth of neuroscience resources including many seminar series, journal clubs and coursework options.