Penn’s Graduate Certificate in Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (SCAN) program serves a wide variety of students, who have in common the need to understand the implications of contemporary neuroscience for their field of study. Though there are differences in the aspects of neuroscience that are most relevant to different fields, there is a surprisingly large common core of knowledge that is essential for many disciplines and professions. This common core encompasses the neuroscience of human psychology and behavior, in other words social, cognitive and affective neuroscience.
Areas of Study
Business: Students interested in the neuroscience of decision-making and marketing, or the business of brain-related medications and devices.
Communications: Students interested in the neuroscience of communication and persuasion.
Computer science, engineering and applied math: Students interested in modeling and analysis of neural networks, neuroimaging methods including image analysis, artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction.
Education: Students interested in the implications of neuroscience for the teaching and learning of average, gifted and special needs students; or interested in science teaching with a focus on neuroscience.
Humanities: Most often doctoral students who study linguistics (with a focus on neurolinguistics), literature (with a focus on cognition and neuroscience in literary theory), philosophy (with a focus on philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, or on neurophilosophical approaches to metaphysics, epistemology or ethics) and religious studies (neurotheology).
Law: Students interested in the many ways in which neuroscience relates to legal issues, e.g., the brain bases of self-control, criminal behavior and rehabilitation, regulatory issues in biotechnology/neurotechnology, the use of brain imaging evidence concerning competence, responsibility and truthfulness.
Medicine, nursing and bioethics: Students interested in specialties such as cognitive neurology, neuropsychiatry, behavioral pediatrics, geriatrics and neuroethics.
Social sciences: Doctoral students in this category include those in anthropology (with interests in social studies of science, technology and health; medical anthropology), criminology (with interests in causes and risk factors for criminal behavior, corrections and effects of prison), economics (behavioral economics and neuroeconomics), history and sociology of science (of neuroscience and neurotechnology) and sociology (including health disparities research, group identity and biology).