Reorganization of Neuroscience at Boston University

The steady expansion of neuroscience at Boston University (BU) has created the opportunity to pursue core educational and research missions of the former Cognitivea and Neural Systems Department within broader, university-wide initiatives.

As of Fall 2011, activities formerly coordinated within CNS have been distributed to other teaching and research units within Boston University. Although the CNS Department as such has been dissolved, the continuing Graduate Program in Cognitive & Neural Systems will serve doctoral and masters students who are already enrolled in CNS. A description of this program and its requirements can be found on the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GRS) Programs website.

This reorganization recognizes impressive strides in neural modeling and neural technology across many diverse academic units at BU, and promotes interactions of faculty from the former CNS Department with colleagues in other units.


Students interested in pursuing the CNS MA program should contact Professor Daniel Bullock, CNS Program Director, at

An archival website describing the Department of Cognitive and Neural Systems, its research goals, and the training program that it offered from 1988 to 2011 is available here.

Prospective Ph.D. students interested in the kind of training provided by the former CNS Department are encouraged to apply to the Computational Neuroscience specialization within Boston University’s new Graduate Program for Neuroscience. Other BU graduate programs, including those in Biomedical Engineering, Brain, Cognition, and Behavior (Psychology), Mathematics and Statistics, and Biology, may also fit a particular student’s training and interests while allowing them to pursue interdisciplinary research in neural modeling and neural technology with former CNS faculty.


The Center for Computational Neuroscience and Neural Technology (CompNet) expands and strengthens the research activities of the former CNS department (see this announcement describing CompNet’s creation). CompNet fosters collaborative research on mechanisms of neural computation and their technological applications by bringing together scientists from multiple fields in science and engineering and from all stages of training.

The Center for Adaptive Systems (CAS) is an interdisciplinary research and training center aimed at discovering and developing principled theories of brain and behavior, notably concerning how individual humans and animals adapt so well on their own to rapidly changing environments that may include rare, ambiguous, and unexpected events. The Center also develops technological applications that are inspired by its biological models.

A change in organizational structure does not change the research we do

CompNet is now the physical home to the many laboratories formerly within the CNS Department. The following laboratories are actively engaged in training students. Interested students are invited to contact faculty in these laboratories directly.