About NS&B

The Neural Systems & Behavior (NS&B) course has provided intensive training in the concepts and methodology of behavioral neurobiology and systems neuroscience to outstanding pre- and postdoctoral students since 1978.

NS&B offers multiple training opportunities in modern approaches to the study of the neural basis of behavior to the next generation of behavioral neuroscientists during early stages of their research careers.  It can also be an opportunity for more advanced scientists to become familiar with this field of research. The course features intensive lectures and discussions, one-on-one interactions with internationally-renowned scientists, and extensive hands-on laboratory training with a variety of invertebrate and vertebrate preparations using state-of-the-art techniques and equipment.  The MBL offers a unique and highly rewarding learning environment that is matched by few other institutions in the world.

Course Overview

The 2021 course will take place from May 24 – June 26. Visit this page to view the Google Calendar.


The course is divided into four Cycles, each last two weeks. In each cycle, students will participate in a laboratory Module.  The laboratory modules constitute the largest part of the course.  Working in small groups, students gain extensive hands-on experience using the latest equipment and how to think about the study of neural-systems and behavior using the most modern techniques. Additionally, student learn the history, general concepts, important issues, and future directions for research in neuroscience and neuroethology.


The 2020 Modules are:

Cycle 1 Module: Leech

Cycle 2 Modules: Electric Fish and Stomatogastric Ganglion (STG)

Cycle 3 Modules: Drosophila, Mouse and Birdsong

Cycle 4 Modules: C. elegans and Somatosensory


Course Co-Directors

Drs. Alberto Pereda and Stephanie White are the Course Co-Directors for 2021.

Course Faculty & TAs

This year, we will have 15 faculty members and 13 teaching assistants teaching in the course.  Visit the module-specific pages to learn more about the faculty and TAs.

Wednesday Night Speaker Series

In addition, the course runs a Wednesday Night Speaker Series that allows students and faculty to meet additional top researchers from around the globe. Visit this page for a listing of this year’s speakers.

Contact us at: nsb@mbl.edu