Research and training in neuroscience is a central strategic goal of the Penn State Psychology Department, and neuroscience methods are used by researchers distributed across graduate program areas. Topics studied by our faculty from a neuroscience perspective include the neural correlates of humor, cognitive deficits in multiple sclerosis patients, the development of emotion regulation, cognitive changes with aging, the representation and acquisition of second languages, recovery from traumatic brain injury, the relation between temperament and psychopathology, the development of facial expression perception, the treatment of cigarette addiction, and more.
Much of this research is conducted at the Social, Life, and Engineering Sciences Imaging Center (SLEIC), which houses a 3T fMRI facility and a human electrophysiology facility with both low and high density systems. In addition to research facilities, SLEIC provides training opportunities and dissertation grants to support graduate student imaging research Other resources for neuroscience at Penn State include the Center for Brain, Behavior, and Cognition (CBBC) and the Penn State Institute of the Neurosciences. These groups sponsor a variety of research colloquia and networking opportunities for students and faculty.
Graduate students in any of our graduate programs may pursue the Specialization in Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. Students pursuing this specialization take courses in Fundamentals of Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience and Methods of Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (offered annually), and additional neuroscience-related courses. They also participate in lab rotations which provide opportunities to learn about neuroscience research from multiple perspectives.