Growing the neuroscience degree

Since launching both a new online and on-campus neuroscience degree within the Department of Psychology, the program has grown from just under 300 students to almost 500 students in a single year. It is expected to continue to grow due to the interest in neuroscience.

Some of the advanced neuroscience research being done in the department includes investigating the origins of hallucinations in schizophrenia, estrogen and progesterone’s effects on cognition and health risks in menopause, how stress impacts the brain and behavior, and how the cerebellum contributes to behavior. ASU is becoming increasingly known for its industry-changing work in neuroscience, such as recently receiving a $15.7 million grant from NIH to study Alzheimer’s.

“The more we learn about neuroscience, the more we recognize we have so much more to learn,” Bimonte-Nelson said. “Every brain discovery shows us a deeper and broader range of things to scientifically uncover. For instance, what brain profiles look like when they are developing, aging and when things go awry, such as with neurodegenerative diseases.”

Questions that were previously impossible to study, such as how do our brains enable us to make decisions, what are emotions or how do we perceive and process sensory information, can now be explored to deeper depths than ever before. Bimonte-Nelson and Verpeut are among the ASU faculty who are helping to ask and answer these novel questions now, but the field has never looked brighter.

“These students were so excited and invested in their education that they decided to drive across the country to learn more about the brain and neuroscience. Their teachers are to be commended for encouraging their passions, and for allowing the students to choose their subject of interest and plan the trip themselves,” Bimonte-Nelson said. “I hope that, for them, this trip has been one-of-a-kind, just like every one of our brains and every one of their futures.”

Robert Ewing

Marketing and Communications Manager, Department of Psychology