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. Science of Living Systems (SLS) 20: Psychological Science or Science of Living Systems (SLS) 20s: Psychological Science Seminar (recommended first year).
  2. Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) 80: Neurobiology of Behavior or Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) 81: Fundamentals of Neuroscience (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 e-mail 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 can also answer general questions about Mind Brain Behavior and its secondary field.

Students are also strongly encouraged to meet with MBB faculty to discuss their interests and course options. Information on the MBB Board of Faculty Advisors is available at the MBB website.