professor and student smiling while working on psychology classwork together

Bridging the gap between learning and doing.

The Behavioral Neuroscience Lab is where Psychology students have the opportunity to design their own research experiments and use brain-stimulating equipment under the supervision and mentorship of faculty. Deeper inquiry, impressive equipment, and opportunities to pursue and publish research alongside faculty are what set Champlain’s Psychology program apart from its peers, and it all happens in the Behavioral Neuroscience Lab.

Lab Highlights

All Psychology students utilize the Behavioral Neuroscience Lab at least once in their college career, during the required Behavioral Neuroscience course. Faculty and students perform experiments centered around brain stimulation and its effects. Lab research has three main focuses: cognitive reserve and aging populations, emotional regulation (affective neuroscience), and health and wellbeing. In general, students who choose to concentrate in Health & Wellbeing will use the lab more often and more extensively than those concentrating in Social Change/Social Impact, simply due to the nature of the research topics.

a person in a lab coat puts equipment on the finger of a test subject

The only lab of its kind in Vermont, the Behavioral Neuroscience Lab allows our undergraduate Psychology students to use state-of-the-art tools to explore bigger questions about how the brain generates thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Some of these tools include:

  • 1×1 tCDS machine: A brain stimulation machine that sends signals to different sections of the brain to produce short, temporary feelings such as peacefulness, anxiety, stress, and more. Few of these machines are available in the New England area, and access to it offers unique research opportunities to explore depression, anxiety, Alzheimers, and more.
  • 1×1 Mini CT machine: A compact version of the 1×1 tCDS that can be used remotely.
  • Bio-Neurofeedback machine: A device connected to the finger that collects and records internal body functions like heart rate, heart rate variability, and skin conductance levels.
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) machine: A device placed on the scalp that records the electricity sent between neurons in different areas of the brain.
  • Muse Headband: EEG-based system that senses and recognizes brain activity and responds with weather and nature sounds that correspond to different mental states.

Founded in 2014, the Behavioral Neuroscience Lab is a facility that expands student understanding by bridging learning and doing, while enhancing faculty research opportunities. Since its founding students have helped design and carry out experiments with 1:1 guidance from their professors. Roughly 70% of published research coming out of the lab lists students as co-authors—another detail that puts Champlain students ahead of the competition when searching for jobs or future research opportunities.

The equipment that we use is used in neurorehabilitation offices, in hospitals, and in healthcare. Being able to use them is something that not everyone can do, so students can use that [lab experience] to get a job with their bachelor degree.
Barbara Colombo
Barbara Colombo, PHD, Professor of Psychology & Lab Founder

More Inside Behavioral Neuroscience Lab