We are very pleased to announce that our department is now the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.
Over the last 30 years, the field of psychology as a whole has changed and those changes are reflected in the current research and teaching activities in the Department. The development of noninvasive technology that measures human brain functioning, including electroencephalogram (EEG), structural and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), and functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), have revolutionized how we understand and measure normal and disordered behavior through brain function. These broader changes within the discipline are reflected within the current research and teaching activities of the Department. As of Fall 2017 almost half of our faculty use animal or human models of brain functioning as the primary method in their research and more use these models as a supplemental method. Currently, about half of our undergraduate courses primarily focus on brain function in psychological processes or include substantial content related to brain function. Changing the name to “Psychological and Brain Sciences” more accurately reflects what we contribute to the teaching and research missions of the college and university and aligns with best practices in the field. It also better communicates the skills of our majors and graduate students to potential employers. An expertise in brain science has existed within our Department for years, and we anticipate that the name change will better integrate the existing expertise within our Department with transdisciplinary efforts across campus.