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.

In summer 2013, Wojciech Mikolusko participated in the MBL scientific writing program. He spent two weeks embedded in the NS&B course, attending lectures, speaking with faculty and students in the course, and occasionally recording from neurons. Read about his here:

Becoming Fearless: The Neural Systems and Behavior Experience

Course Overview

The 2019 course will take place from June 1 – July 28, 2019. 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 2019 Modules are:

Cycle 1 Module: Leech

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

Cycle 3 Modules: Drosophila, Striatum and Hydra

Cycle 4 Modules: C. elegans and Somatosensory


Course Co-Directors

Drs. Robert Froemke, Stephanie White and Jade Zee are the Course Co-Directors for 2019. Visit this page to learn more about them.

Course Faculty & TAs

This year, we will have 38 faculty members and 20 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.

Course Students

The course is limited to twenty students selected from applicants around the world. Visit this page for a list of the 2018 cohort and watch short testimonial videos by a few of our students from 2018 and 2017.

Both students and their mentors note the positive impact not only on their technical skills, but also their motivation and enthusiasm for conducting science and an increased depth of their intellectual curiosity upon return to their home institutions. Another one of the great things about the course is the connections and friendships that the students and faculty make.  Many former students have said how the NS&B course has changed their lives!

Contact us at: nsb@mbl.edu