Since 1978, the 8-week Neural Systems &Behavior course has provided intensive training in the concepts and methodology of modern behavioral neurobiology to outstanding pre- and postdoctoral students during early stages of their research careers. MBL offers a unique and highly rewarding learning environment that is matched by few other institutions in the world. Each summer twenty students are immersed in lectures and laboratory work under the mentorship of some of the best teachers and researchers in the field, with close interactions among students and faculty being a hallmark of the course. The Neural Systems &Behavior course offers extensive hands-on laboratory training with a variety of invertebrate and vertebrate preparations using state-of-the-art techniques and equipment. The course includes a rigorous and comprehensive lecture schedule, complemented by seminar speakers and Scholars-in-Residence (SIRs), who elaborate on the topics and viewpoints covered based on their own research. NS&B encourages original thinking and creative, multi-disciplinary approaches to understanding the brain and behavior. Relaxed, but intellectually charged, discussion of all topics is the norm, making this highly integrated and interactive format a rarity in standard university training. The course is designed to be challenging, with high expectations for student achievement in a supportive intellectual environment. Although the course has remained true to its core philosophy, it has been modified through the years in response to the changing landscape of neurobiology. Over the past several years, the directors and faculty have incorporated new electrophysiological techniques, molecular approaches, and quantitative analyses in order to mirror the changes taking place within the discipline. Faculty and students are drawn from diverse disciplines including neuroscience, psychology, biology and medicine, and the course also draws significant numbers of outstanding applicants with backgrounds in mathematics, physics or engineering. Funding is requested to continue this unique training opportunity in its present form. Mental health problems, include a emotional and behavioral disorders, addiction, and neural diseases. The next generation of brain scientists require exposure to the integral relationship between clinical and basic research.. The broad integrative training offered by the Neural Systems &Behavior training program presented in this application is ideally suited to help achieve this goal of identifying bridges between basic research and clinical science. Understanding how gene-environment-behavior interactions influence brain development and function is essential for enhancing our understanding of diseases of cognition, emotion, social behavior, and communication.
The aim of the current application is to continue training investigators for the future to help alleviate the problems of mental illness.
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