The Department of Psychology is consistently ranked as a top department in the nation because of the excellence of our faculty, students and programs. Our faculty are recognized nationally and internationally for their contributions to the creation of new scientific knowledge in psychology. Our undergraduate and graduate programs are recognized for pioneering contributions in classroom and research education, as well as innovative experiential learning. We attribute our excellence, in part, to our commitment towards recruiting faculty and students who represent diverse backgrounds; we firmly believe that diverse minds enrich our scholarly community.
The Biopsychology Area is a subdivision within the Department of Psychology, committed to the belief that studies of behavior and biology complement each other, and that both are enhanced when they are combined in a common effort. The underlying philosophy of the Biopsychology Area is that there is a strong need for research at the interface of behavior, biology, and evolutionary theory. Students typically pursue graduate studies involving the investigation of ‘Brain and Behavior Relationships’ (i.e., Behavioral Neuroscience), or the ‘Evolution of Behavior’ (e.g., Sociobiology or Comparative Animal Behavior). Students are encouraged to sample both of these approaches during their graduate career. Research activities of the faculty range from field observations of animal behavior to recording the activity of single brain cells, and the use of molecular cellular and genetic manipulations to address questions related to understanding a variety of brain-behavior relations. The main research interests of the faculty are in one or more of the following sub-areas: learning and memory, attention, evolutionary basis and the adaptive significance of behavior, motivation and emotion, hormones and behavior, cognitive neuroscience, stress neurobiology, addiction, auditory systems, sleep, neuropsychopharmacology, social cognition and communication.
The Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience Area is a diverse group of faculty and students with research interests in all areas of cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience, including motor control, perception, learning and memory, language, cognitive control, creativity, problem solving, decision making, motivation, emotion, development, clinical disorders, and aging. Research in this area makes use of fMRI, eCOG, ERP, tDCS, TMS, eye-tracking, computational modeling, and behavioral measures. These research efforts emphasize the creation of fundamental new basic knowledge, while also devising innovative applications of such knowledge to important practical problems, e.g., cognitive training, decision-aiding, sustainability, education, and design. The Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience program is especially geared toward students who wish to develop skills in mathematics, statistics, neuroscience, and/or artificial intelligence as well as in psychology.