The Brain and Cognitive Sciences Graduate Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology requests renewal of its major training grant. The department is organized to promote interdisciplinary training and research in neuroscience and behavior, approached with the experimental power of modern molecular and cellular neuroscience, systems neuroscience, and cognitive science, combined with the theoretical strength of computational neuroscience and artificial intelligence. Trainees begin laboratory work through lab rotations in the first two terms and subsequently join a laboratory, working on problems in learning and memory, neural development, vision, motor control or brain disorders and diseases. Required course work can be completed in two to three years, with a two-term sequence of core courses in the first year, a quantitative methods course, and a flexible array of graduate lecture courses and seminar classes. The qualifying exam consists of written and oral components of an interdisciplinary NIH/NSF style grant proposal. Annual research reports and annual committee meetings are required, and mark the student's progress in research through completion of a thesis. Multiple presentations at professional meetings and journal publications are typically expected of a dissertation. Most students continue in research careers, armed with skills that typically span multiple theoretical and experimental approaches comprising molecular/cellular neuroscience, systems neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, psychophysics, behavior and computation. Trainees will, in general, have strong backgrounds in the natural sciences (e.g., undergraduate majors in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, or electrical engineering). Occasional trainees will already hold a master's degree in another field. Candidates for the graduate program will be chosen by the department Graduate Committee constituted for the purpose of overseeing this program and will be evaluated on the basis of interviews, talent for research as demonstrated by past performance, letters of recommendation, grades, and GRE scores. Funds are requested for five years to support 12 predoctoral trainees per year.

Public Health Relevance

MIT's Integrative Neuronal Systems program provides interdisciplinary training for graduate students pursuing research careers related to the understanding of the human brain and mind. In addition to graduate coursework, students get hands-on laboratory experience using the latest techniques in neuroscience, including neurophysiology, brain imaging, genetics, molecular biology, and computation.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
National Institute of General Medical Sciences Initial Review Group (BRT)
Program Officer
Maas, Stefan
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Other Basic Sciences
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
Zip Code
Vander Weele, Caitlin M; Siciliano, Cody A; Matthews, Gillian A et al. (2018) Dopamine enhances signal-to-noise ratio in cortical-brainstem encoding of aversive stimuli. Nature 563:397-401
Burgos-Robles, Anthony; Kimchi, Eyal Y; Izadmehr, Ehsan M et al. (2017) Amygdala inputs to prefrontal cortex guide behavior amid conflicting cues of reward and punishment. Nat Neurosci 20:824-835
Ferrario, Carrie R; Labouèbe, Gwenaël; Liu, Shuai et al. (2016) Homeostasis Meets Motivation in the Battle to Control Food Intake. J Neurosci 36:11469-11481
Tillberg, Paul W; Chen, Fei; Piatkevich, Kiryl D et al. (2016) Protein-retention expansion microscopy of cells and tissues labeled using standard fluorescent proteins and antibodies. Nat Biotechnol 34:987-92
Nieh, Edward H; Vander Weele, Caitlin M; Matthews, Gillian A et al. (2016) Inhibitory Input from the Lateral Hypothalamus to the Ventral Tegmental Area Disinhibits Dopamine Neurons and Promotes Behavioral Activation. Neuron 90:1286-1298
Lafer-Sousa, Rosa; Conway, Bevil R; Kanwisher, Nancy G (2016) Color-Biased Regions of the Ventral Visual Pathway Lie between Face- and Place-Selective Regions in Humans, as in Macaques. J Neurosci 36:1682-97
Matthews, Gillian A; Nieh, Edward H; Vander Weele, Caitlin M et al. (2016) Dorsal Raphe Dopamine Neurons Represent the Experience of Social Isolation. Cell 164:617-31
Felix-Ortiz, A C; Burgos-Robles, A; Bhagat, N D et al. (2016) Bidirectional modulation of anxiety-related and social behaviors by amygdala projections to the medial prefrontal cortex. Neuroscience 321:197-209
Keller, Joseph B; Hedden, Trey; Thompson, Todd W et al. (2015) Resting-state anticorrelations between medial and lateral prefrontal cortex: association with working memory, aging, and individual differences. Cortex 64:271-80
Hubel, David H; Wiesel, Torsten N; Yeagle, Erin M et al. (2015) Binocular stereoscopy in visual areas V-2, V-3, and V-3A of the macaque monkey. Cereb Cortex 25:959-71

Showing the most recent 10 out of 72 publications