Neuroscience is one of the fastest growing areas in science and combines the rigorous study of psychology with biology. Few subjects can better integrate the sciences and connect it with humanities and social sciences. Our students explore brain function in depth and address current ideas regarding sensation and perception, thought, behavior, and neuropathology.
Neuroscience students pursue independent original research with faculty on topics as diverse as neural plasticity, human memory, applied cognitive psychology, child development, evolution of animal behavior, neurodegenerative disease, cellular physiology, and the genetics of organ development.
While our interdisciplinary training provides an excellent background for launching into the graduate health professions, including medical school, it also prepares graduates for diverse scientific and other professions.
The student organization SYNAPSE fosters a vibrant student and faculty community focused on public education and outreach on neuroscience issues. Academic excellence is rewarded by selection to the national neuroscience honorary Nu Rho Psi. In 2013, our college chapter was awarded the National Chapter-of-the-Year at the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting. Majors enjoy a strong focus on critical writing and persuasive communication by participating in the award-winning student research journal EUKARYON.
Many neuroscience majors study abroad at the University of Auckland in New Zealand (where they take neuroscience courses and can engage in neuroscience research), or in Tanzania or Costa Rica . Some pursue off-campus study in Chicago or conduct research at nearby Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, engage in community outreach, and partner with North Chicago elementary schools for K-6 education.
Neuroscience majors regularly receive recognition from professional societies, at the local and national level, for their scholarship and educational outreach activities, and many have become published scholars. Our majors and minors annually interact with scientific professionals and the research community at the Chicago Society for Neuroscience conference. In 2011-2013 alone, they have won research prizes at three Chicago area conferences and the 2011 Brain Awareness Week Award from the international Society for Neuroscience (SfN).
Why study neuroscience?
The College’s magazine Spectrum featured a Neuroscience cover in summer 2013: read how LFC alumni and faculty are engaged in brain-related research.
Also, read this news story in the 2011 Eukaryon issue on why neuroscience majors are drawn to this exciting major!
Jody Buck ’13
Neuroscience major, Biology and English minors
“I studied neuroscience because I found the brain fascinating, and to be able to learn about it from the perspectives of both biology and psychology allowed me to explore the connections between the brain, mind, and behavior, which I find incredibly interesting. I plan to pursue a career in the medical field, likely Orthopedic Surgery or Genetic Counseling. What I enjoyed most about studying at Lake Forest College was the amazing support of the professors here who are always willing to provide extra help with anything you may need, from understanding concepts discussed in class to finding internships; they are truly invested in making sure their students are successful.”
Jessica Dudley ’14
Neuroscience major and Philosophy minor
“Ever since I was small, I’ve been fascinated with the human anatomy. But spring semester of my first year added to that fascination; I learned about a different aspect of our anatomy; the brain and the mysteries that lie behind it. I just found it really interesting to learn the basic functions of the brain, and mysteries that could lead to its complete dysfunction. My goal in becoming a Neuroscience major is to eventually go on to graduate school to become a Nurse Practitioner. The most interesting aspect about the Neuroscience program at Lake Forest College is there are so many opportunities that help strengthen your confidence and intellect in many ways, one of which includes learning to collaborate with peers and work towards one common goal. It is an awesome program to take part in.”
Maiwase Tembo ’15
Neuroscience and Biology majors
“At age nine, I read a book titled “gifted hands” by Dr. Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon, who described the brain as a miracle because it can do anything. I decided that I wanted to find out why the brain was as powerful as described. In my quest to find the answer I decided to join the neuroscience program. Everyday since my decision, I have learnt more and more just what why the brain is so powerful and fascinating. Through the neuroscience program, I believe that I will be geared for medical school and a bright future.”
North Chicago, Illinois
“Neuroscience has always been an interest of mine; I have always wondered why humans are so much different than other animals and why. The brain and its behavior fascinates me and with the bonus of Brain Awareness Week and the interesting classes involving neuroscience I could not resist! I hope to go into the medical field with the aim to become a neurologist. I also plan on studying abroad and intern with a doctor in my future field. I feel that Lake Forest College provides the perfect setting to allow me to accomplish my goals in a very engaging and unique manner.”
Las Vegas, Nevada
“There have been tremendous advancements in the scientific and medical fields this century and even this decade, but there is still a great deal of progress that needs to be made and that is why I am studying neuroscience. I am fascinated by the brain and how it works (or in some cases, fails to work) as well as the mysteries that have yet to be solved. Though becoming a surgeon is my ultimate goal, I hope to contribute to the neuroscience field through research both during and after my time at Lake Forest College. What I love most about Lake Forest is the way in which I am able to work with professors, who make learning far more than merely tests and grades; professors are constantly available to answer any question or quarry their students have.”