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Department of Psychology


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Neuroscience Independent Study

USC encourages all undergraduates to participate in independent study activities outside the formal class room. Independent study offers students the opportunity to experience hands on learning and to develop personal relationships with a deeper core of the university than they can through classes alone. 

Neuroscience Independent Study Mentors

In order to conduct research, a student should arrange to do an independent study course with a suitable neuroscience mentor.  You sign up for the course by filling out an independent study form [pdf]  with your mentor, getting the required signatures, and bringing the form to the Registrar's Office. Your advisor will have to sign the form and can help you with the process. To encourage this experience, the neuroscience minor requires that students gain Independent Study research experience in neuroscience. Below is a list of neuroscience researchers in the many disciplines that contribute to our understanding of the nervous system.

College of Arts and Sciences: Biological Sciences

Shannon Davis, Developmental Neurobiology

Robert Friedman, Bioinformatics, evolutionary biology

Sofia Lizarraga, Neuronal morphogenesis and development

Fabienne Poulain, Neurodevelopment and neurogenerative disorders

Deanna Smith, Migration and cellular trafficking in the adult nervous system

Daniel Speiser, Structure, function and evolution of visual systems

Jeff Twiss, Neuron growth and injury responses

College of Arts and Sciences: Philosophy

Anne Bezhuidenhout, Philosophy of Mind

Tom Burke, Philosophy of logic and cognitive science

College of Arts and Sciences: Psychology

Amit Almor, Psycholinguistics, memory and attention in mind and brain

Rose Booze, Behavioral and molecular neuroscience

Scott Decker, Neuropsychological assessment of children

Jessica Green, Neural mechanisms of human attention and perception

Steven Harrod, Nicotine-induced sex differences in adult rats

Sandra Kelly, Consciousness, meditation and the brain

Charlie Mactutus, Behavioral Neuroscience

Melanie Palomares, Cognitive neuroscience and vision

John Richards, Developmental cognitive neuroscience

Jane Roberts, Biological mechanisms underlying developmental disorders

Chris Rorden, Brain injury, stroke and behavioral changes

Jeff Schatz, Cognitive neuroscience

Svetlana Shinkareva, Development and application of quantitative methods to neuroimaging data

Jennifer Vendemia, Understanding how cognitive and personality variables moderate pain perception

College of Computer Science and Engineering

Melissa Moss, Protein aggregation in Alzheimer's Disease

John Rose, Computational neuroscience and machine intelligence

Song Wang, Computational neuroscience

College of Pharmacy

Sajish Mathew, NAD+ metabolism and signaling in Neurobiology

Jill Turner, Nicotine Addiction

Jun Zhu, Mechanisms underlying dysfunction of the human dopamine transporter

Arnold School of Public Health

Roozbeh Behroozmand, Neuroscience of Speech Production and Motor Control

Jim Carson, Neuromuscular function in wasting diseases and functional disuse

Dirk Den Ouden, Neurolinguistics

Julius Fridriksson, Aphasia recovery after stroke using MRI techniques

Troy Herter, Motor rehabilitation

Davis Moore, Concussion and functional outcomes
Roger Newman-Norlund, Motor control and rehabilitation lab

Jill Stewart, Neural control of movement

USC School of Medicine: Pharmacology, Physiology, and Neuroscience

Jim Fadel, Anatomy and function of forebrain dopamine and acetylcholine systems

Janet Fisher, Functional properties of the GABA receptor and its role in epilepsy

Norma Frizzell, Mitochondrial metabolism in neurodegenerative/neurodevelopmental disorders

Michy Kelly, Molecular mechanisms of memory and social deficits

Alex McDonald, Anatomy of cholinergic circuitry in the amygdala

David Mott, Alterations of hippocampal neurons/synapse in epilepsy

Pavel Ortinski, Neuronal correlates of addictive behaviors

Larry Reagan, Stress, metabolic disorders, and hippocampal neuroplasticity

Marlene Wilson, Neuropharmacology of anxiety and stress

Susan Wood, Depression, stress and the brain