The Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition offers an interdisciplinary doctoral training program operated jointly with eleven affiliated PhD programs at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. The Center also offers its own PhD Program in Neural Computation.

Detailed information about these programs is available at
The Center is dedicated to the study of the neural basis of cognitive processes including learning and memory, language and thought, perception, attention, and planning; to the study of the development of the neural substrate of these processes; to the study of disorders of these processes and their underlying neuropathology; and to the promotion of applications of the results of these studies to artificial intelligence, robotics, and medicine.
CNBC students have access to some of the finest facilities for cognitive neuroscience research in the world: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanners for functional brain imaging, neurophysiology laboratories for recording from brain slices and from anesthetized or awake, behaving animals, electron and confocal microscopes for structural imaging, high performance computing facilities including an in-house supercomputer for neural modeling and image analysis, and patient populations for neuropsychological studies.
Students are admitted jointly to a home department and the CNBC Training Program. Applications are encouraged from students with interests in biology, neuroscience, psychology, engineering, physics, mathematics, computer science, statistics, or robotics. For more information about the program, and to obtain application materials, visit, or contact the following address:
Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition
115 Mellon Institute
4400 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Tel. (412) 268-4000. Fax: (412) 268-5060
The affiliated PhD programs at the two universities are:
Carnegie Mellon University of Pittsburgh
Biological Sciences BioEngineering
Biomedical Engineering Mathematics
Computer Science Neuroscience
Machine Learning
The CNBC training faculty includes:
Eric Ahrens (CMU Biology): MRI studies of the vertebrate nervous system
Howard Aizenstein (Pitt BioEngineering): fMRI of depression in elderly
Susan Amara (Pitt Neurobiology): neurotransmitter transport and binding
John Anderson (CMU Psychology): models of human cognition
Patricia Arenth (Pitt Physical Medicing): traumatic brain injury
German Barrionuevo (Pitt Neuroscience): hippocampus and prefrontal cortex
Alison Barth (CMU Biology): molecular basis of plasticity in neocortex
Aaron Batista (Pitt BioEngineering): sensory-motor integration
James Becker (Pitt Psychiatry): human memoru disorders
Marlene Behrmann (CMU Psychology): spatial representations in parietal cortex
Guoqiang Bi (Pitt Neurocience): activity-dependent synaptic modification
Charles Bradberry (Pitt Psychiatry): neurobiology of drug and alcohol abuse
J. Patrick Card (Pitt Neuroscience): transneuronal tracing of neural circuits
Raymond Cho (Pitt Psychiatry): cognitive control mechanisms; schizophrenia
Carol Colby (Pitt Neuroscience): spatial reps. in primate parietal cortex
Justin Crowley (CMU Biology): development of visual cortex
Tracy Cui (Pitt BioEngineering): biosensors, neural microlectrode arrays
Brent Doiron (Pitt Mathematics): nonlinear dynamics of networks of neurons
William Eddy (CMU Statistics): analysis of fMRI data
Bard Ermentrout (Pitt Mathematics): oscillations in neural systems
Erika Fanselow (Pitt Neurobiology): inhibitory neurons in neocortex
Julie Fiez (Pitt Psychology): fMRI studies of language
Anna Fisher (CMU Psychology): cognitive development; selective attention
Neeraj Gandhi (Pitt Neuroscience): neural control of movement
Chris Genovese (CMU Statistics): making inferences from scientific data
Peter Gianaros (Pitt Psychiatry): brain imaging and stress
Cleotilde Gonzalez (CMU S&DS): decision making in complex environments
Ahmad Hariri (Pitt Psychiatry): developmental brain imaging and genetics
Lori Holt (CMU Psychology): mechanisms of auditory and speech perception
John Horn (Pitt Neurobiology): synaptic plasticity in autonomic ganglia
Satish Iyengar (Pitt Statistics): spike train data analsysis
Jon Johnson (Pitt Neuroscience): ligand-gated ion channels; NMDA receptor
Marcel Just (CMU Psychology): visual thinking, language comprehension
Karl Kandler (Pitt Neurobiology): neural development; inhibitory pathways
Robert Kass (CMU Statistics): transmission of info. by collections of neurons
Seog-Gi Kim (Pitt Neurobiology): technology and biophysics of fMRI
Roberta Klatzky (CMU Psychology): human perception and cognition
Anthony Kine (Pitt Physical Medicine): traumatic brain injury
Richard Koerber (Pitt Neurobiology): devel. and plasticity of spinal networks
Tai Sing Lee (CMU Comp. Sci.): primate visual cortex; computer vision
David Lewis (Pitt Neuroscience): anatomy of frontal cortex
Beatriz Luna (Pitt Pschology): developmental psychology and fMRI
Peter Machamer (Pitt History & Philosophy of Science): philsophy of neuroscience
Edouard Machery (Pitt History & Philosophy of Science): philsophy of psychiatry
Brian MacWhinney (CMU Psychology): models of language acquisition
Steve Meriney (Pitt Neuroscience): mechanisms of synaptic plasticity
Nancy Minshew (Pitt Neurobiology): cognitive and neural basis of autism
Tom Mitchell (CMU Comp. Sci.): machine learning with application to fMRI
Bita Moghaddam (Pitt Neuroscience): prefrontal cortex and psychiatric disorders
Paula Monaghan-Nichols (Pitt Neurobiology): genetic analysis of verteb. CNS devel.
Don Moore (CMU Tepper School of Business): organizational behavior
Paul Munro (Pitt Information Science): neural network models of learning
Linda Palmer (CMU Philosophy): nature of mental operations; brain mapping
Carl Olson (CNBC): spatial representations in primate frontal cortex
Charles Perfetti (Pitt Psychology): language and reading processes
Mary Phillips (Pitt Neurology): emotion regulation; mood disorders
David Plaut (CMU Psychology): connectionist models of reading
Michael Pogue-Geile (Pitt Psychology): development of schizophrenia
Julie Price (Pitt Radiology): PET pharmacokinetics and data analysis
Lynne Reder (CMU Psychology): models of memory and cognitive processing
Erik Reichle (Pitt Psychology): attention and eye movements in reading
Joseph Ricker (Pitt Physical Medicine): traumatic brain injury
Jonathan Rubin (Pitt Mathematics): analysis of systems of coupled neurons
Walter Schneider (Pitt Psych.): fMRI, models of attention & skill acquisition
Joel Schuman (Pitt Opthalmology): imaging of the eye; retinal ganglion cells
Andrew Schwartz (Pitt Bioengineering): motor control, neural prostheses
Susan Sesack (Pitt Neuroscience): anatomy of the dopaminergic system
Etienne Sibille (Pitt Psychiatry): molecular characterization of depression
Greg Siegle (Pitt Psychology): emotion and cognition; cognitive modeling
Dan Simons (Pitt Neurobiology): sensory physiology of the cerebral cortex
Marc Sommer (Pitt Neuroscience): neural circuitry controlling eye movements
Peter Strick (Pitt Neurobiology): motor control; basal ganglia and cerebellum
Floh Thiels (Pitt Neurosicence): LTP and LTD in hippocampus
Erik Thiessen (Pitt Psychology): child language development
Natasha Tokowicz (Pitt Psychology): language learning; bilingualism
Connie Tompkins (Pitt Communication Science): neurologic communication disorders
David Touretzky (CMU Comp. Sci.): hippocampal modeling, cognitive robotics
Robert Turner (Pitt Neurobiology): basal ganglia and motor control; movement disorders
Nathan Urban (CMU Bioogy): circuitry of the olfactory bulb
Valerie Ventura (CMU Statistics): structure of neural firing patterns
Katherine Verdolini (Pitt Communication Science): motor learning & speech therapy
Wei Wang (Pitt Physical Medicine): neural engineering; movement disorders
Douglas Weber (Pitt Physical Medicine): somatosensory feedback for neuroprostheses
Mark Wheeler (Pitt Psychology): fMRI studies of memory and cognition
David Wolk (Pitt Neurology): episodic memory and Alzheimer’s disease
Yan Xu (Pitt Anesthesiology): functional brain mapping of consciousness
Henry Zeringue (Pitt BioEngineering): neural development; neuron cell cultures

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