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Join us at Laurier

Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.

Cognitive and Behavioural Neurosciences

Neuroscience is one of the most exciting and rapidly advancing fields in all of the life sciences. At Laurier, we take a broadly integrative perspective, examining the interaction between behaviour, cognition and the nervous system across a diverse set of species from fish to humans, ranging in scale from populations, to individuals, to cells, on timescales ranging from milliseconds to generations.

In our program, you’ll hit the ground running and start conducting research with a faculty adviser in the fall of your first year. Over the course of 16 to 24 months, with the close mentorship of your adviser, you’ll learn how to develop a program of research, use research methodologies and statistical techniques, present your work in talks and posters, and communicate your research as an expert in the field.

You'll form close bonds with faculty and peers through small, intensive courses, research lab groups, and regular area meetings including seminars and journal clubs.

Our research interests are interconnected, focusing on the mechanisms underlying:

  • Visual and auditory perception;
  • Motor control, attention and memory;
  • Language;
  • Medical (mental) disorders, including addiction, eating disorders, and age-related memory disorders;
  • The neurobiology of learning and memory, the evolution of learning, social learning, comparative cognition, the learning-motivation interface, and neural plasticity; and
  • Social organization and collective behaviour.

The objectives of the MSc program are to develop competence in designing, conducting and evaluating research in the neurosciences. The purpose of the program is to prepare students for doctoral studies, or for employment in an environment requiring research skills.


Our facilities allow faculty members and students to employ a rich diversity of tools and techniques including: 

  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), high-density evoked potentials (EP), and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
  • Animal models of human medical (mental) disorders, including addiction, eating disorders, and age-related memory disorders.
  • Automated tracking of collective behaviour, and operant behaviours.
  • Confocal imaging, immunohistochemistry, patch clamp electrophysiology, quantitative gene expression analyses, and in situ hybridization.

In addition, a field station is equipped to study large groups of freely behaving animals to study the neural mechanisms organizing complex social behaviour.

Program Overview

Four half-credit courses and a thesis constitute the degree requirements. Considerable emphasis is placed on developing and completing the thesis.

Required Courses

  • PS600: Advanced Behavioural Statistics I
  • PS601: Advanced Behavioural Statistics II
  • One of PS660: Principles of Cognition or PS663: Principles of Neuroscience
  • Research Seminar in Neuroscience I
  • PS699: a thesis that is supervised by one of our faculty members

Contact Us:

For more information about the Cognitive and Behavioural Neurosciences program, as well as admissions-related inquiries, email


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