Explore the function of the nervous system and how it regulates behavior, and examine some of the fundamental questions of human nature.

Neuroscience is the interdisciplinary study of the nervous system and its relationship to mental processes and behavior. At the heart of the field are biology, psychology and chemistry.

Because many of the emerging approaches to understanding brain function require a firm foundation in several disciplines, you may take courses in several departments, including mathematics, physics, psychology and computer science.

Studying neuroscience in a liberal arts environment allows you to explore a variety of topics such as neuropharmacology, psychopathology, sensory systems, mathematical physiology, neuroimaging, neurogenetics, neuroethology and the social brain.

  • Majors at Pomona: Neuroscience
    Professor Nicole Weekes on studying neuroscience in a liberal arts setting
  • Summer research in Professor Karen Parfitt’s lab
    Summer research in Professor Karen Parfitt’s lab
  • In class with Professor Nicole Weekes
    In class with Professor Nicole Weekes
  • Class presentation
    Class presentation

What You'll Study

  • Core courses in biology, chemistry, math and psychology
  • Cell and molecular neuroscience
  • Systems-level neuroscience
  • The brain across species, from Drosophila to humans
  • Additional laboratory courses in biology and chemistry
  • A senior project or thesis
percent of majors who participate in laboratory research projects

Research at Pomona

  • German Rojas ’18
    Understanding the olfactory system of C. elegans

    German Rojas ’18 worked with Professor Glater to understand the olfactory basis of food detection in worms.

German Rojas ‘18

Neuroscience may appear as a difficult subject with many unknowns, but when you finally see how drugs interact with and affect your brain, when you finally understand how light can be translated into images within your brain, when you finally get how your everyday behavior can be possibly explained through neurochemical interactions, it’s worth the rough but interesting ride.

Faculty & Teaching

Research interests range from molecular genetics and physiology to the effect of stress and culture on the human brain. Each faculty member’s research program is driven by undergraduate research students working both in the summer and during the academic year.

Professor Karl Johnson

Understanding how the brain works is one of greatest and most valued challenges in contemporary science. Since the pronouncement of the ‘decade of the brain’ in the 1990s, research in neuroscience has exploded and shows no signs of slowing down. At Pomona, students interested in participating in this exciting scientific pursuit may do so with the faculty in our Neuroscience Department.