Summer Program

UNDERGRADUATE SUMMER WORKSHOP
IN INTERDISCIPLINARY MIND AND BRAIN STUDIES
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA

June 4 – 17, 2017

Deciphering the complex relationship between brain activity and the vastness of human intelligence and behavior is one of today’s most daunting and important scientific challenges. Technologies such as high resolution fMRI, deep brain stimulation, nano-size and multi-array recording devices, and optogenetics have led to the unprecedented ability to measure and manipulate brain activity, from gene expression to the coordinated activity of brain circuits underlying complex skills such as perception, language, memory, decision making, social networks and creativity. The next major cutting-edge research questions for scholars involve the measurement and analysis of patterns of brain activity and how these patterns relate to behavior; in other words, mapping the mind.

A related question at the interface of the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities is whether an understanding of the mind at the individual level will lead to a deeper understanding of the behaviors of a group. Research about social behavior and decision-making provides an important source of insight into the philosophical questions of mind, identity, and social organization. The development of new analytical, computational, and experimental tools is enhancing our understandings of individuals, societies, and their creations. These newest scientific frontiers seek to understand the nature of human intelligence in its broadest sense.

In this year’s Undergraduate Summer Workshop, lectures will focus on Social and Decision Sciences (Week 1) and Computational Neuroscience (Week 2). Week 1 topics are likely to include cultural and evolutionary behavior, economic preferences and biases, social choices and decision-making, and reflective and intuitive thinking. Week 2 topics are likely to include both data and computational models pertaining to neural processing and behavior, in the domains of sensory encoding, perception, learning, memory, and decision-making.

Summer Workshop participants will receive free room and board, plus a travel stipend.

As a participant, you can:

  • Hear lectures from distinguished researchers in social and decision sciences and computational neuroscience
  • Participate in labs and lab tours involving some of the latest technologies and research methods
  • Participate in panel discussions on the future of interdisciplinary mind and brain studies, as well as career and professional development in these fields.

Participating faculty include:

Geoffrey Aguirre, Coren Apicella, Jonathan Baron, Dani Bassett, Nazli Bhatia, Sudeep Bhatia, Jonathan Baron, David Brainard, Yale Cohen, Long Ding, Steven Eliades, Joshua Gold, Geoffrey Goodwin, J. Wesley Hutchinson, Joseph Kable, Scott Barry Kaufman, Robert Kurzban, John Medaglia, Gidi Nave, Philip Nelson, Michael Platt, Alex Rees-Jones, Ed Royzman, Marc Schmidt, Joseph Simmons

You should apply if:

  • You have a strong interest in social and decision sciences and/or computational neuroscience
  • You are currently an enrolled undergraduate at any university or college

Relevant course experience is desired, but not required.

Students from underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Non-US citizens are eligible for our program, but US visa regulations apply for all non-citizens.

Questions?

Please e-mail us: IMBsummerworkshop@sas.upenn.edu

Online Application

We require a resume, transcript, and short personal statement, as well as 2 letters of recommendation. Students are asked to contact their referees to request letters of recommendation.

The deadline for applications and reference letters was March 15, 2017.