Academic Programs

Interdivisional Concentrations

Mind, Brain, and Behavior


The Mind, Brain, and Behavior (MBB) concentration seeks to understand how humans, animals, and robots are able to acquire, represent, and use knowledge. The discipline combines the insights from several other fields, including computer science, psychology, linguistics, animal behavior, genetics, neuroscience, and philosophy, to work toward an understanding of the brain, mind, and conscious experience. The MBB concentration is a secondary field of study that requires a student to complete a major in a primary discipline.


If possible, Moderation into Mind, Brain, and Behavior should take place simultaneously with Moderation into the primary program. To moderate, students must complete Foundations in Mind, Brain, and Behavior (formerly Introduction to Cognitive Science) (CMSC131/PSY131); and one course from two of the following disciplines: biology, computer science, linguistics, philosophy, and psychology. At least one member of the Moderation board must be a member of the core MBB faculty. To graduate, students must complete the course requirements for their primary program; "clusters" consisting of three courses from approved lists in two of the five disciplines that contribute to MBB; Cognitive Science Research (Computer Science 308), which is typically taken during the second semester of the junior year; and a Senior Project on a topic relevant to MBB, as determined by the student's Senior Project board.


The following core courses, among others, fulfill the requirements for Moderation: in the area of biology, Biology 141, Subcellular Biology; Biology 150, Evolution of Model Organisms; Biology 151, From Genes to Traits; in the area of computation, Computer Science 141, Object-Oriented Programming; Computer Science 143, Object-Oriented Programming with Robots; in the area of linguistics, Literature 201, Survey of Linguistics; in the area of philosophy, Philosophy 115, Introduction to Philosophy of the Mind; in the area of psychology, Psychology 141, Introduction to Psychological Science.