Mind Brain Behavior

Mind Brain Behavior (MBB) introduces students to the interdisciplinary study of the mind, the brain, and behavior. As a secondary field, it offers students the opportunity to confront the significant findings that have arisen from the traditional disciplines in the MBB area of inquiry and emphasizes the intellectual innovations that stem from crossing traditional disciplinary lines. Students will learn how past and current researchers have brought the perspectives of neuroscience into dialogue with those of other natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities, and will develop habits of interdisciplinary thinking themselves. In particular, the secondary field provides opportunities to learn about computational, neurobiological, evolutionary, psychological, linguistic, philosophical, and historical approaches and their interactions.

These goals reflect the state of knowledge about mind, brain, and behavior, knowledge that is growing exponentially. The traditional disciplines have proven remarkably successful at expanding this knowledge and have been enhanced by interdisciplinary links that have foregrounded new technologies and theories. MBB has brought together a diverse group of faculty from Harvard’s different schools and disciplines, and students may take courses from them, work in their laboratories and research projects, and hear them speak at MBB events.

REQUIREMENTS: 5 courses (20 credits)

  1. Psychology 1: Introduction to Psychological Science, formerly Science of Living Systems (SLS) 20 (recommended first-year)
  2. Neuroscience 80: Neurobiology of Behavior, also listed as Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) 80 (recommended sophomore year)
  3. Interdisciplinary Seminar (recommended junior year), selected from a list that varies each year.
  4. Two Mind Brain Behavior courses, selected from a list that varies each year.


All courses must be taken for a letter grade. Students are also encouraged to attend the MBB junior symposium and are welcome to join the student organization Harvard Society for Mind Brain and Behavior (HSMBB).


Students considering a secondary field in MBB should familiarize themselves with the MBB website: http://mbb.harvard.edu. Students should also introduce themselves by emailing Education Program Coordinator Shawn Harriman (shawn_harriman@harvard.edu) as early as possible to allow MBB to keep them informed of important policies, events, and other opportunities. Shawn is also happy to answer general questions about Mind Brain Behavior and its secondary field.

Students are also strongly encouraged to meet with MBB faculty to discuss their academic and career interests, course options, and research opportunities. Contact information for MBB Faculty Advisors is available on the MBB website.