An Interdisciplinary Major
The Biological Basis of Behavior Program (BBB) is an interdisciplinary major in which students explore biological, psychological, computational and clinical approaches to understand the nervous system as the biological basis of behavior, as well as perception, memory, motivation, and emotion. The BBB program, created in 1978 as one of the first neuroscience undergraduate programs in the country, allows students to explore a broad range of topics in the neural sciences through courses taught by faculty and staff in several departments in the School of Arts and Sciences and the Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.
Cutting Edge Neuroscience Research
A distinguishing feature of the major is the emphasis placed on encouraging students to become actively involved in research. Each year more than eighty BBB majors are engaged in cutting edge research throughout campus seeking to push forward our knowledge of how neural circuits give rise to complex behaviors and how these circuits go awry in psychiatric and neurological disorders. Many students in the BBB Program are actively involved in community outreach, participating in the annual Kids Judge Neuroscience Fair for elementary school students from West Philadelphia.
Undergraduates interested in majoring in BBB should take BIBB 109, Introduction to Brain and Behavior, as early as possible in their undergraduate career. This course provides an overview of neuroscience and is required for all upper-level BIBB courses.
- Cadherins mediate cocaine-induced synaptic plasticity and behavioral conditioning
- Metabotropic action of postsynaptic kainate receptors triggers hippocampal long-term potentiation
- Retinal origin of direction selectivity in the superior colliculus
- Nusinersen, an antisense oligonucleotide drug for spinal muscular atrophy
- Identification of diverse astrocyte populations and their malignant analogs