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Science Course
Course CodeNEUR
Year Opened1996
Sites OfferedCAR, JHU, LAN
Previously OfferedCLN, HKG, LOU, SUN
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Course Description

Neuroscience is an introduction to the study of the brain, from the cellular level to the nervous system itself.

Class History

Introduction to Neuroscience was designed and taught by Kurt Thoroughman and Matthew Belmonte in 96.2 at Johns Hopkins. Thoroughman and Belmonte returned in 1997 to teach at Session 1 and Session 2, respectively. Neither of them returned to CTY in subsequent years.

The course as designed by Thoroughman and Belmonte is described at


From 10.1 to 11.2, the class was taught by John Rutter. In 11.1 and 11.2, it was TA'd by Josh Da Silva, otherwise known as Tah or Yoshi.

In 11.1 at Carlisle the awesome Nerdy Neurons of Carlisle took the class. Cerebellum, a parody of the song Umbrella by Rihanna, was created by the Nerdy Neurons. "When the neurons fire they fire together, said we'll always be together, I said I'll always be your brain....Now that its braining more than ever, know that we'll still have each other. you can stand under my cerebellum, ellum, ellum, e, e, e.....You can run into my brain, its ok dont be afraid, come into me theres no difference in between our lobes" Dr. Rutter was famously heard to say "Theres no F***ing way these ions are going to get through this s**t", "You can, if thats how you roll", "How do you know I'm not a cleverly disguised woman", "Damn you Rutter, Damn you!", "Out of the fiery depths of hell comes a "Bawk!".

Rutter continued teaching in 13.1 at Carlisle, and the class was TA'd by Gabrielle Nichols, a former JHU CTYer(aka G-protein or GABA). This class consisted of the best people ever: Grace Lee, Alexis Onsi, Desiree Wright, Katie Goldstein, Shivani Gupta, Emily Chang, Julia Donovan, Ella Epstein, Karan Tandon, Connor Nash, AIDS (Aidan Bissel-Siders), James Mo, Sidd Kantamani, Nico Mandel, Kyle Watkins, and Nate Korb. While most of the class discussion seemed to be about cows and life in Maine, a fair bit about the brain and its cells was learned. The course is amazing and a lot of knowledge is gained about the anatomy, chemistry, and function of the brain. Rutter knows his shit, he has a PH.D in Neuroscience- many of us called him Doc for that. Great quotes continued from Rutter, such as "Oh right, right, I gotta get my heart beating again. Shit!", "Unmyelinated roller-coasters are slower", "I view the veggie display as a game of Jenga", "Pushing the fold", and "My uterus tingles thinking about it...I guess you didn't know". An epidemic of pokemon addiction hit the class and for the last three days, everyone in class was obsessed with playing pokemon on smartphones. Also, the card game of "Pres" was a classic- it was played during all breaks and a large portion of study hall. "Stay alive it's the fourth of July" became the inside joke of the class along with shouting "AIDS" whenever Aidan talked. Also, whenever Josh the T.A (or whatever he is) would appear, everyone would yell "Classic Josh". Take Neuro- It truly is amazing.

Rutter left CAR in 14. Session 1 however, was taught by Jamie White, a PhD student. She was an excellent person, and a great scientist, but she couldn't break difficult neuroscience concepts down into understandable parts, and was thus not a very good teacher. The TA Sam, on the other hand, came to the rescue quite often, and was able to explain things very well. He was also very entertaining. The best example of this would be when he was prepping a lab that required us to drug zebra fish. Sam: "Jamie, I may have overdosed the fish" Jamie: "What?? Are they dead?" Sam: "No, not dead, just um... highly paralyzed."

CAR 14.2 was taught by Dr. Paul Patton and TA'd by Jason Saltiel. The first week was actually a living hell to the students, full of boring lectures everyday that brought some people to sleep, while others played on their phones or drew. Dr. Patton had a very slow, quiet voice, and could also be compared to the surfer sea turtle in Finding Nemo, only it was very obvious he was too old to be a surfer. Jason was a good TA, and was known to be very hipster, with his wacky socks and preppy clothing. Everyone usually relied on Jason to explain all the concepts that Dr. Patton couldn't convey during the lectures. Most of the students complained sometime during the first week to the RAs, leading to the Academic Deans Willie and Lesa to come in almost every class. It was utterly hilarious to the students to see their solemn and disgusted faces as they sat in during a usual 3 hour lecture. The administration and other instructors were looking for ways to get class interesting without getting a new teacher. So by that, they took any student suggestions for study hall time, which included reading out loud and discussion sessions outside, and lots of TED Talks. We were also somewhat in charge of teaching our fellow classmates, because Dr. Patton's teaching method was not very effective. The class rounded out to be alright, but nothing very special for a CTY class. Some highlights of the session were that we got the privilege to meet at Exist in Me in the HUB basement and that we had one class bonding, which actually bonded our class. It was too unfortunate that class bonding was on our very last activity of the session.

CAR 17.1 was taught first by Joe and then by Dr. Mark Zbiden. Our wonderful TA was Divya. The students first learned under the questionable tutelage of Joe whose teaching style included diss tracks and the infamous Neuroscience videos of 2x speed (unless you had the software for 3x speed). Our class survived study halls with the help of Divya, who taught us that "the baby is the neural tube", thus christening our extra backpack, "The Neural Tube." After many complaints and evaluations, Joe disappeared from our class as mysteriously as he arrived. Then, Mark arrived in our lives with his real-life computer games and unconventional personal style. The last week of class was filled with unanswered questions from Joe's question board and discussions about topics vaguely related to Neuroscience. The class of NEUR.17.1 survived those chaotic three weeks with the help and guidance of Divya, Mark and "Jone's BBQ and Foot Massage."

CAR 17.2 was taught by Dr. Mark Zbinden and TA'd by Divya Seth. After a long drought of severely unqualified Neuro instructors at Carlisle, Doc Mark (who entered the position after 17.1's instructor was booted after the second week) brought a cohesive understanding of Neuroscience to the class. Of course, there was still plenty of time for shenanigans- whether it was the paper crane family (featuring Cranium, Cerebellum, and Spinal Cord), Nate's track obsession, the gallon challenge, frisbee, or the insanely quick games of mafia during break, NEUR.17.2 was one of the best in a while. Doc Mark and Divya coupled as Black-Metal Neuro Jesus and the ICONIC Neuro Bae, respectively, and the 18 kids in the class always thought of enough questions to make it so that there were only one or two lectures that were actually completed in the allotted time. We will never forget the Neuro gang sign, Lauren's spicy malk, Sanjana's ruhm, and "How do you think that's relevant???" Never flip off your instructor during class.


At Lancaster 14.1 and 14.2, the class was taught by Jessica Keesee, also known as Jess, or Keesee, or jkeesee, or the main bae. She was pretty cool, like, she played foursquare. She was super fun and could rap Iggy Azalea like no other. For 14.1, the class call was #$qua. But 14.2 was #betterthan$qua (no hard feelings 14.1). The class call for 14.2 was a call-and-response. Jess or Maia, the TA, would yell POW3RHAUS and the young whippersnappers would yell MYLK. For social media purposes, #pow3rhaus and #mylk should be used. Oh, and one more thing. IT AIN'T EASY BEIN' KEESEE!

At Lancaster 15.1, the class was taught by a very obviously unqualified - albeit sweet - teacher named Robin Weaver. Robin would more often than not be unable to answer questions that couldn't be addressed to with less than 4 words. Such questions included, "How exactly does the amygdala coordinate with the HPA axis?" to which she responded "I, um. (prolonged and awkward pause) Would someone like to answer that question?" In many cases, the students would have to resort to asking their questions and obtaining information from one of the 3 smarter students in the class who apparently knew more on the topic than the instructor. (s/o to Tieran, Andrew Dimeetreee, and Ben) Thusly, the class was visited numerous times by staff from the main office and the Dean of Academic life, although no changes were made.The material, though interesting, was taught in a way that often made it difficult for the students to learn it. This course would be recommended, however, as long as the instructor does not remain the same.

At LAN 15.2, the class was taught by Chris and the legendary TA Sandra Adele (who had to leave midway through due to complications), but proceeded to have 3 other TAs- Steven, Joe, and Cody. The class accidentally got their class ball stuck in a tree, and proceeded to create the NeuroBall (and talk about buying a cherry picker). The legend which was written on the ball as:

"On July 21, 2015, the Neuroscience class took a break during their nightly studyhall. At 8:06PM, Dhruba P., a Neuroscience student, drop-kicked the class ball into the Jesse tree on Hartman Green, where it became soundly lodged on a limb approximately ~30 feet~ above the ground. The second session class unified in an effort the remove the fall for four days and four nights. With the help of many other classes, Neuro tried a wild assortment of methods to release the ball, including (but not limited to): a frisbee, a volleyball, a stick, a 2.5 foot long tree limb, a hand sized stone, a tennis ball attached to a 50-foot string, the HDIS mega ball, a covert attempt to climb the tree, pens, a 5 foot 2 inch male on the shoulders of a 6 foot 4 inch male, screaming, and plastic outlet cover. Alas, their attempts were futile. The class retired to their first weekend. The ball was reported missing by a farmers market group on Saturday morning, and Neuroscientists lost all hope. However, the group returned to their Sunday studyhall break to a magical surprise. The ball sat at the base of the tree, covered in a variety of duct tapes. A note taped to the ball read, "To neuro, with love- from: Satan ["Satan" crossed out] Santa" The class decided to pass on the ball to Neuroscience classes of the future as a symbol of class unity, creativity, and perseverance of many.

-The duct tape must NEVER be removed

-If Neuroscience is split into A, B, etc classes, the ball must be given to the older class.

-The ball must be taken home at the end of session by a certain onemore, to be returned to the older Neuro class the next year.

-If the ball becomes lodged in a tree, the Neuro class shall persistently strive to remove it by ALL MEANS POSSIBLE"

The ball was then signed by all members of the class as Dhruba Podder, Jordi Long, Taylor Woods, Vanessa Roser, Amelia Dogan, Alex Berlaga, Ellie Taylor, Ryan Foo, Mona Lee, Jarrett Schwartz, Via Barr, Carson Parenti, Sam Botterbusch, Naomi Cebula, Isabel Rogers, Ariel Rotter-Aboyeian, Ari Abbrescia, Indra Alagar, and Miles Gamboa.

At Lancaster 17.2, no Neuroscience kids ever actually received or heard of the aforementioned ball. This was a class with a new instructor, Melanie "Big Mel" Martin and the lit TA and former CTYer Johni Licht, a famed member of the Oval Table Mafia. Several inside jokes involved the question "What's an action potential?" which that year's Documentator, Hazel Allison-Way, turned into a recurring theme. This question, in conjunction with a completely erroneous description of the aforementioned action potential and what is believed to be the sign language sign for orgasm, eventually coagulated into a Neuro handshake for that session, which was used several times to promote a sense of camaraderie and incite the tempers of the Cog Psych B class.

This Neuro class was a pioneer of the game of 9-Square, which was largely popularized in Bio and INBS classes following the introduction of the game by Neuro during breaks. INBS TA Marcos was also instrumental in the pervasion of this game, as he had had lots of experience in the previous INBS C class of LAN 16.2.

This class also participated in the first annual Neur-Cog Psych debate, in which Neuroscience razed Cog Psych to the ground in the closing statements, with incredible sass displayed by epic nevermore Shreya Joshi. Icons from this debate included "Janie missed the boat" (in reference to the study of Jeanie, who had passed the critical point for learning a first language by age 13 and was thus incapable of developing complex speech and language), "Lexicon, WHICH IS A COMPANY" (uttered by the then-current Caution-Tape Cape Wearer and all-around awesome roommate Quinn Reinhardt, who alongside his spot researcher Hazel thought the word lexicon was the group Comic-Con in the heat of the moment), "The brain is biological" (basically repeated by everyone in the class when they forgot what to say), and class idiot Colin Ly slapping himself in the face twice consecutively to demonstrate the anatomical links of sensation and perception.

Lancaster 18.1- On the first day, TA Johni Licht (yes, the living legend from 17.2) was holding up a sign that said "NEUR" and the class then shouted "NEURRRRR" whenever it was time to come in from break, time to assemble for class, or just for fun. Allegedly, the class (dubbed NEUR) sounded like a heard of cows. The class also became a hug party a little earlier than halfway through the session. Whenever someone walked up to anyone else with outstretched arms, it was free real estate for hugs. Eventually, the hug epidemic spread to other people, and by the end of the session, about half of the camp was giving free hugs. Coincidentally, this was the Year of the T-Pose, which led to people who were t-posing getting hugs, but no one really complained.

Lancaster 18.2- taught by the legendary Dr. Kyle Gobrogge (Dr. G) and TA Shaq. The class participated in many tea-spilling sections, dubbed "Spill the Tea with Dr. G" by Dr. G himself, played Ben Ball (until Vijay smashed some glass beakers), read Dr. G's research papers on prairie voles, and read many other research papers (about gay sheep *ahem* rams that are ram oriented). Vijay, the 18.2 King James, was late to the meeting spot everyday, leading everyone to shout his name across the quad and later on causing the chant: "Who is he? Vijay! Where is he? Not here!" to start. Vijay also created many memorable moments in class, for example, carrying around seven rulers and saying that everyone screaming his name makes him horny.

Class members include:

  • Jeremy, who was punched in the face on the last day (rip);
  • Skyler, who's not gay (and who's name is hopefully spelled with an e we're not sure someone please confirm);
  • Chris, sporting a concerningly low purity score. We'll always remember his iconic bandannas, though;
  • Reed, the class genius who we could always rely on to have the answers;
  • Zoe, the other class genius who actually knew what was going on;
  • Helen, who memorably drew llamacorns on everyone's shirt the last day;
  • Annika, the pro napper who went all out during the 27 minute nap;
  • Vijay, who you don't need to know about anymore;
  • Tristan, a soft boi;
  • Ben, the namesake of the legendary game Ben Ball;
  • Daniel, who called everyone out on the flaws of their invented drugs during presentations;
  • Wave, the class photographer who kept getting her camera stolen;
  • Maddie, who led all the loud singing that was probably heard by half the camp. Songs she sang include The Poop Song and I've Got Beef Between My Teeth;
  • Kathy, the purest bean to ever walk this earth;
  • Ceci, 19.2's King James VIII. We're so proud of her and we love her so much and we're sorry Dr. G kept calling on her during class discussions for all the hard questions;
  • Laura, who made Play-Doh dumplings every day. Memorable quote: "Shaq, I don't understand what's going on...";
  • Alexandra, who's most iconic moment was when Dr. G woke her up by asking her a question and she immediately responded with a well thought-out and relevant answer which everyone was impressed by;
  • And Teddy, who blinks too much.

More quotes:

  • "And then your body's just like... fuck it, we don't need androgen, we'll just be gay" - Daniel
  • "So what if we feed the kids baby schizophrenia" - Chris
  • "Chris is an expert on abuse... but like not the bad kind. The good kind" - Skyler
  • "Tristan, do you wanna have a bang-off?" - Chris
  • "I wanna suck a potato off my ass... KATHY IS SO NICE I'M GONNA CRY" - Vijay
  • During a slow dance: "SKYLER, YOU'RE TOUCHING MY ASS SO MUCH" - Daniel, "I'M NOT GAY!" - Skyler

Lancaster 19.1 - This year's Neuroscience class was taught by Mariola Penades Fons (who is world-famous btw) and TA'd by Angelica Garcia (a senior @ the University of Arizona), both of whom for this was their first year teaching at CTY. On the second day, Mariola introduced the class to "Neurobics," which are brain-coordination activities designed to strengthen the Corpus Callosum (connection between 2 hemispheres of the brain) done with usually the hands and fingers, but also with other parts of the body. The class was immediately OBSESSED with this, eventually even running an activity on it, and Neurobics became a class staple (and somewhat of a meme), with the class naming itself the NeuroGang. During every evening session, TA Angelica would lead a lecture on a nervous system disease, which was interesting. Despite what 17.2 (and Cog Psych B 19.1) mentioned above, the class insists that they have created the best and most modernized version of 9-square, and again, ran a weekend activity on it. Volleyball and frisbee were also popular break activities (and so seems stealing my soccer ball - Jaden). There were gang signs (consisting of the various popular hand gestures used in Neurobics), a *flying* purple pig named Pumba (or Muhammad), a stuffed zebra, raging at Anomia, and so much more.

Class members (in no particular order at all):

  • Niko, 19.1's "Savage" (The hype man!). He was one of the only people who actively asked questions and remained engaged in class. RIP NIKO WE LOVE HIM. We wish he could have spent the rest of the session with us.
  • Anaya, who really liked alpacas, and is a nomore (we're going to miss her)
  • David, who has some pretty bad nightmares and was psychoanalyzed by Mariola to reveal he "just wants attention". He also brought good-smelling hand sanitizer to class.
  • Naomi, who has rock hard abs
  • Sara, who overslept and missed swim practice (stop stealing my soccer ball). She also stepped on Jaden - yes literally just while I was laying on the ground in misery, she walks up and stomps on my stomach. But other than that, she's pretty cool.
  • Olivia, the tallest person in our class, who also went to swim practices in the morning
  • Ricardo, 20.1's (and 3rd week of 19.1's) Savage. His dance moves are legendary, but his dreams are not.
  • Marco, who's Marco. I can't explain him, he's like dopamine - both excitatory and inhibitory (and he is my special On My Way/Alan Walker friend!).
  • Sophia, 19.1's Holy Ghost. She is a literal god and is honestly a great person (also very helpful in knowing not to perform phagocytosis in Stairway to Heaven)
  • Kodi, who has a volleyball and the goddess of ERS
  • Will, who was 3rd in Blammo with 7 kills, and has perfect pitch
  • Ian, the supplier of industrial-grade glow-sticks that legit lasted 24 hrs
  • Ethan, who was 2nd in Blammo with 8 kills, and claims French Canadians do not exist
  • Micaeli, who lent everyone clothes for Drag Day, and unfortunately got quarantined during the last week (and also brought a ukelele!)
  • Eva, who is "French-Canadian" (and thus does not exist)
  • Batya, who actually knew basically all of the content, and also broke her phone
  • Ashley, the best artist that I've ever seen
  • Jaden, who carried around a blue soccer ball which was frequently stolen by everyone (but especially Sara)

Notable quotes:

  • "Obama, I slap your mama. Oh yeah yeah" - Marco
  • "Wait a minute... you're trying to trick me!" - David, but later almost everyone else in Neuro

NeuroGang, I love you all


At Seattle 15.2, the class was taught by Amaya Miquelajauregui and TA'd by Katie van Egmond. Inside jokes include excrete, quokkas, "Neuron, IN!" and "Neuro, OUT!" and having schizophrenia/other random diseases. The classroom is loud with all the traffic, lacks a white board, and has uncomfortable chairs. The class had Xander, Jay, Lea, Karis, Michelle, Natalie, Ethan, Colin, Lisa, Ryan, Regina, Aadi, William, Ellie, Justin, Isabel, and Annabelle. Jay asked way too many questions, Justin said too much about Carlisle, William too much about gaming, and everyone else is mostly silent. Highlights include blue tongues, deserts, and Annabelle's hair. Also, pander is pineapple.


At JHU 15.2 the course was taught by the great Dr. L (The Savage!) and the best TA ever, Jamie (who slays). Our class was perhaps not the most focused, but we still learned a lot about brains despite sitting on the floor of the classroom and cracking constant bdsm jokes during labs (as the sensory ones often involved blindfolds). The final week of class involved researching various disorders and then trying to drive the rest of the class insane. We had a (low key) rivalry with Microeconomics next door, which was (sort of) settled with a soccer match, which we lost due to an inferior number of people who actually knew how to play soccer (also cause Alex didn't pass). The class was quite possibly the funniest one this CTYer has ever taken. Despite being at Baltimore, I would recommend this course to people. OBAMA LOVES MEMES EVERYONE!

At JHU 17.2, The course became known as Neuro-Sid after the discovery of a cerebellum that looked exacltly like Sid from Ice age. It became known as Sidabellum. Class was taught by the rad Jesse Bettinger (He's rad because he grew back a third nipple) who is 100%, for sure, someone who prizes adaptability. Class was often spent tallying how many times he said his "for sure" "100%" "adaptability" and others. Class was nothing less than amazing and fun and the instructor is a really chill dude. Aleena was the TA and was insanely nice and smart and is very loved. Class involved a lot of laying down on the floor to be nonconformist, and making references to Lynne hitting Eli in the stomach after he insulted her memes. "It wasn't even that hard" "IT WAS EMOTIONAL BETRAYAL". As an apology, Eli sent Lynne the video of Obama saying he loves memes. OBAMA LOVES MEMES. It lives on. There was also a day that consisted of a LOT of stealing fruits from the cafeteria to eat in order to taste while on (miracle berry) pills. The class had Eli, Pat, Will, Anfield, Matt, Shelby, Lia, Ana, Norissa, Prachi, Alena, Lynne, Sammy, Riddhi, Yoshi. The class was also able to skype with THE Anil Seth. with was an amazing opportunity. Ted Talks, "Daddy, Why is mommy crying?", hundo p, tiddhi, The spirit of shrek, oxytocin, WEEST, Can't Help Falling in Love, Ana's stress ball, mason's jars, ma names ******, and bananiches will never be forgotten.

"thats a dead meme" "there are no dead memes" "Harambe's a dead meme"

At JHU 18.2 the course was again taught by Jesse Bettinger with Isaac Chen as TA. This class was amazing, not only did we learn about neuroscience, but the class itself was an amazing group. The class came to be known as Beuroscience, as we were Neuroscience with a B, and a group of Beuroscience students performed a rap and dance under that name for our TA. It began "Isaac, you're really really cool, you're a bean, you know about neuroscience and biochemistry" and continued in that vein. The class also expanded on Isaacs family to include Benedict Chen the egg, and Neural Ned Chen. Jesse still 100% for sure prizes adaptability, and he's a truly amazing teacher with a drive to help his students succeed. The students, meanwhile, had many cuddle puddles on the floor of the classroom, kicked a soccer ball into the projector multiple times, and had intense debates over the true name of the card game president.