Cognitive & Brain Sciences

fMRI image

The graduate program in Cognitive and Brain Sciences at LSU examines cognition and related topics from a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives. Our graduate program emphasizes research training using multiple behavioral and neuroscientific methodological tools, including both laboratory and field research methods.

Our goal is to prepare students for professional careers in a variety of settings such as:

  • Academic careers
  • Researchers in industry or government
  • Technical advisors in government and human service organizations

In addition to basic research on attention, memory, emotion, language, and decision-making, students are encouraged to study applications of the cognitive and brain sciences to real-world situations. Each student’s program is individually designed by the student and faculty advisors to provide a working knowledge of this broad field and intensive study in the student’s areas of special interest. Courses and seminars in Cognitive Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology, and other areas of Psychology and in other departments constitute the academic core of the student’s program of study.

EEG laboratory

Research Opportunities

Research training continues throughout the student’s program at increasing levels of responsibility. This training includes applied as well as traditional laboratory methods. Students work closely with faculty members on research of mutual interest.

Students have the opportunity to learn a wide variety of research techniques.  In addition to a variety of equipment available in faculty labs, the Psychology department EEG Neuroscience laboratory has a BioSemi 64-channel ERP system, and an EyeLink system for conducting eye tracking and pupillometry research.  Faculty also conduct fMRI research at Pennington Biomedical Center’s brain imaging facility.

Opportunities also exist for students to get experience doing applied research:

LSU Multidisciplinary Institute for Neuroscience Discovery (MIND)

The field of neuroscience addresses fundamental questions about the organization and function of the nervous system, as well as changes that occur as a result of development, experience, injury, and disease. Increasing our understanding of such phenomena poises us to recognize and promote adaptive patterns in behavior and neurological function, to the benefit of our local community and the greater population. Our mission is to coordinate and strengthen research, training, and community outreach opportunities related to neuroscience at LSU.

The Life Course and Aging Center (LCAC)

The mission of the LCAC is to engage in multidisciplinary partnerships promoting healthy development and aging across the lifespan. The vision of the LCAC is to be a nationally-recognized leader in the generation, dissemination, and application of lifespan science. The LCAC facilitates life course and aging interdisciplinary research collaborations as well as doctoral training opportunities for interested students at LSU. For more information, please visit their website. For more information, please visit their website.

For additional information about the CBS program, please contact Dr. Melissa Beck at


Follow us on Facebook!

Download a PDF of the course work required for the doctoral degree

View the cognitive and Brain SCiences psychology faculty