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Is it possible to study specific disorders/syndromes in Neuroscience during undergrad years?

I'm really interested in majoring in Neuroscience and have heard about interesting syndromes and disorders like Savant Syndrome. I would love to be able to study this and I'd like to know if I have a chance to do that during my undergrad years.

#july20 #neuroscience #college #research #study #undergrad

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Alycia’s Answer


Yes! You can 100% study specific disorders relating to neuroscience during your undergrad years. Although I've never heard of a major/minor that focuses specifically on neurological disorders because my school doesn't offer one (please correct me if I'm wrong!), there are so many ways you could learn more about them. All you have to do is go on your college's school catalogue and click on "Psychological Sciences courses." Look through the many classes offered at your school and there's bound to be one relating to the specific thing you want to learn. And if you can't find it under psychological sciences, try other neurosciences-related subjects like biology, cognitive science, or nursing science.

And if you want to take it a step further, try to look into your school's research opportunities; they may have an extensive list of laboratories you could join that do research on the specific disorder you're interested in. I was interested in how depression and/or anxiety during childhood could effect the neurological and behavioral aspects of said child as they grow older, and I was able to find a lab that catered directly to that! In fact, I also became interested in another study in that lab: I was able to educate African American families on the effects of early sexual behavior and drug use.
If all else fails, go to your school's academic advisor and ask them! I'm sure you'll find something. Good luck!

This is great thanks so much for your response Alycia! May I ask what school you attended? But I hope I'll be able to find a course or research opportunity that relates to what I'm interested! Olivia C.

I got to UC Irvine! If you have any more UCI-specific questions, feel free to ask them here! Alycia E.

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Maria’s Answer

Depending on your university you can volunteer at labs or ask to shadow scientists.
Some universities offer electives in research and neurosciences may be a choice.
I wish I could be more specific but it at depends on your university or college.

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Sam’s Answer

When you're an undergraduate student, you are sort of limited by the specificity of what you can study. This is because undergrad degrees are usually quite broad (i.e. why general education classes are required for every degree).
Even in a graduate program, the professors and institution need to be sure you are competent in that entire field, not just a specific part of it. So you will have to study the entirety of neuroscience, rather than specific syndromes.

One thing I would say is to reach out to professors and ask about research opportunities. In order to maintain accreditation at most universities, professors have to complete a certain amount of research hours. There may be some at your university who are studying the specific neuroscience topics that you'd like to delve deeper into.

Thanks so much for your answer Ms. Beaumont, I appreciate it! Olivia C.

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Wanida C’s Answer

Dear Olivia,

If you know a lab of interest, you can directly contact the faculty. If not, contact summer student training programs or project seed (for school kids) in universities, and you will find the lab for training.

I met many undergrad students during my postdoc in the neuroscience lab. They were all brilliant and now they have a very successful life and career in the medical field. You can be one of them too. Wishing you all best.


This is super helpful, I never thought about anything like summer student training programs. Thanks so much Wanida! Olivia C.

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EmilyAnn’s Answer

Sure! It just depends on where you go and what is offered. I'm an undergrad physics major and do neuroscience research - we study the synchronized bursting activity of neurons. While WE don't specifically study certain disorders linked to this, it's certainly possible to find places that do. Look into schools which provide neuroscience research for undergrads (many will boast their research programs but only offer opportunities to graduate students) and you're bound to find one that matches your interests.

This is great thanks so much Ms. DeChiara! Olivia C.