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A Letter from Rob Kass and Nathan Urban


Dear Prospective Student,

The study of the neural basis of cognition is a major growth area at the interface of several established disciplines. As Co-Directors of the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, we want to share with you our excitement about the training opportunities available in our Center.

The CNBC is affiliated with many of the strongest Ph.D. programs at both Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh. All CNBC faculty are affiliated with one or more programs, and all of our students pursue their degree through one of these programs. This provides a firm grounding in an existing discipline and an excellent springboard for future employment.

CNBC students have access to some of the best facilities for cognitive neuroscience research in the world. Expert faculty across the two universities work together to augment these facilities with quality software tools for experimental control and analysis. There is access to well-characterized clinical populations with a range of different types of cognitive disorders as well as to state-of-the-art functional neuroimaging technology. The CNBC also has modern facilities for research on non-human primates and other animals, including laboratories for single and multi-neuronal recording in awake, behaving animals, and a unique resource for using viruses as tracers to unravel the brain’s wiring diagram. Our computational facilities are enhanced continually to meet the heavy demands imposed by imaging and modeling, and CNBC students have access to the vast computing resources of the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.

A spirit of collaboration is another important resource you will find at the CNBC. We emphasize interdisciplinary research and work on many large-scale collaborative projects. In addition, our current student group has established a strong sense of community. Students run the outside speaker series, hosting talks by well-known researchers in all areas of cognitive neuroscience. Also, a biweekly student research seminar is held where students gather to share food for mind and body.

Our graduates successfully compete for assistant professor positions right out of graduate school, and others have gone on to prestigious postdoctoral positions. If you have not already done so, visit our website ( and read about the experiences of several current students

If you are interested in understanding how the brain gives rise to cognitive processes, we hope you will consider joining us.



Rob Kass Signature
Rob Kass, Co-Director
Carnegie Mellon University
Rob Kass Signature

Nathan Urban, Co-Director
University of Pittsburgh
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