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Best schools

Stephan Anagnostaras stephan at ucla.edu
Tue Jan 30 04:43:18 EST 1996

In article <4ee827$gmk at nuke.csu.net>, rrobles5 at calstatela.edu (Ronnie
Robles) wrote:

> Which are the best graduate schools in Cognitive Neuroscience?  Does
> UCSD or USC rank amoung them?

I would rank UCSD as the best in cognitive neuroscience. This is simply
because they have the best collection of cognitive neuroscientists and
the largest.  The only graduate program which has good access to all of
them is the Interdepartmental Neuroscience program. Some work in the VA,
some in the med center, some in Cognitive Science, some at Salk, etc,
so going thru a department is a bad option there; so unfortunately,
if you dont have a good biology background it is a bad program for you.
Some of the people working there you would be interested in would be
(off the top of my head)

Larry Squire
Stuart Zola-Morgan
Marta Kutas
Helen Neville
Nelson Butters
Steve Hillyard

That's all that comes to my head right now. There is also the William's
syndrome lady I can't remember her name right now, though (sigh), and
several others.

I wouldn't recommend USC for Cognitive Neuroscience unless you have a
specific program in mind. The Neuroscience IDP program is poorly funded
thru individual departments and there is also a poorly organized 
neurobiology program.  If you have a specific person in mind, they
can fund you and USC would then be a find option but don't plan on
going there shopping, because the program wont have money for you.
UCSD Neuroscience works on a rotations basis and if accepted will
usually fund you unconditionally for 10 months ($10K and tuiton/fees)
so you can find a good home in that time.

MIT Brain & Cognitive Sciences is regarded as the best cognitive
neuroscience program. You can also look there, but admission is
extremely competetive (read: 770+ for each test) and class-size is
very small (UCSD Neurosci usually takes about 30 or so if I remember
right). Of course if you get in there, funding is not a problem.

If you are looking to stay in So Cal, don't forget to consider UCLA
of course; there are two main programs you would be interested in,
the Cognitive Neuroscience program in Psychology and the Neuroscience
IDP program (both have access to similar faculty; you just need
to figure out which one you fit better into). Funding is very
good in either program, especially if you are competitive....

Good luck


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