Harvard Summer Program in Trento, Italy
Study neuroscience through the Mind/Brain/Behavior Interfaculty Initiative
Faculty: Alfonso Caramazza
This eight-week program at the Center for Mind/Brain Sciences (CIMeC), University of Trento, Italy, provides a unique opportunity to study the mind/brain.
Taught by faculty from Harvard and the University of Trento, the courses include lectures and hands-on laboratory sessions (e.g., neuroimaging demonstrations). Depending on the demand, the program may also include a noncredit Italian language class. In addition to courses, students have the opportunity to learn about cognitive science research by participating in experiments, and by attending talks and presentations organized at the research center.
Students enroll in two four-week courses. Instruction is in English. Courses generally run Monday through Thursday with Fridays dedicated to program outings. During the program, students receive housing and a meal plan at the University of Trento, where they have the opportunity to interact with Italian students.
Program outings and trips are designed to immerse students in Italian culture and tradition. There are hikes in the Italian Alps, a weekend getaway on Lake Garda (Italy’s largest lake), and day and overnight trips to nearby cities such as Verona, Venice, and Florence. On free weekends, students can organize additional trips to nearby lakes (Lake Caldonazzo, Lake Levico, or Lake Garda) or to explore other popular destinations in Italy (in the past students visited Milan, Rome, and Tuscany).
Course of study
All students must take MBB S-101 in the first half of the program and then choose from one of two courses. The noncredit Italian course described above would meet twice a week from the first week of classes until the end of July (seven weeks).
MBB S-101 Study Abroad in Trento, Italy: Windows into the Structure of the Mind and Brain (32685)Alfonso Caramazza John A. Assad
The mind/brain can be studied at multiple levels of description and with various methodologies. The course reviews methods from psycholinguistics to neuroimaging, and from computational modeling to cellular and clinical neuroscience. Each method is illustrated through laboratory demonstrations. This course is mandatory for all program participants, and it is meant to provide the neuroscience and cognitive science foundation necessary to explore specific topics in the field.
MBB S-91 Study Abroad in Trento, Italy: Art, Mind, and the Brain (32961)David Melcher Francesca Bacci
The ability to create and appreciate artworks is one of the unique hallmarks of the human brain. This course will take advantage of the rich artistic heritage of Northern Italy by exploring the mind/brain through the arts. In particular, we will investigate visual art, from antiquity to contemporary with a special emphasis on medieval, Renaissance, and modern painting and sculpture. The course will involve a series of visits to local museums and historic sites. In addition, there are in-class lectures and discussions and hands-on activities in the education department of the MART museum. The overall aim is to use artworks as case studies that illustrate fundamental principles of the mind and brain.
MBB S-93 Study Abroad in Trento, Italy: Mind, Brain, and Behavior in Decision Making (32804)Giorgio Coricelli
Economists have produced remarkable theories describing how people make decisions, but, until recently, their approach treated the human brain as a "black box." The introduction of neuroscience tools (brain imaging, neuropsychological studies, single-cell recording) and the discovery of evidence about the importance of emotional and social states in economic decision making are revealing new perspectives in the field of behavioral economics. This new discipline combines economics, psychology, and neuroscience in order to study decision making in individual and social contexts. Students learn about economic decision-making principles (e.g., choice under risk and uncertainty, intertemporal choices, bargaining, cooperation, and competition); lectures and laboratory sessions cover contemporary theories of behavioral economics as well as the application of methods from neuroscience (e.g., single-cell recording, fMRI, TMS) to the study of decision making.
Prerequisite: MBB S-101.
The application period is now closed.
Students must be at least 18 years old, have completed at least one year of college or be a first-year student, and be in good academic standing to apply.
The application materials, outlined below, are required of all US applicants and are due January 31, 2013. Italian applicants should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for application deadlines and materials.
- A completed online application that includes:
- A $50 nonrefundable application fee
- A personal statement of interest in the program, including information on relevant coursework and travel experience abroad (previous travel is not a prerequisite)
- Transcripts (student record accepted for Harvard students)
- Letter(s) of recommendation from a current or most recent teacher or advisor, mailed to the Study Abroad Office or e-mailed in PDF format directly from the recommender to email@example.com:
- Harvard College applicants should submit one recommendation
- Non-Harvard applicants are asked to submit two letters of recommendation
Program directors may ask for interviews.
Students are notified of admission decisions by mid-February.
There is a nonrefundable $50 application fee. The cost of the program is $7,750 and includes the following:
- Room and most meals
- Field trips
In addition to the program fee, students are responsible for:
- A health insurance fee (waived if students have US insurance that provides coverage outside the United States)
- Transportation to and from Trento
- Independent excursions
- The cost of passports and visas (if the latter is needed)
- Any immunizations
See a sample budget for estimated expenses.
How to pay and funding options
See Funding and Payment for payment deadlines, deposit amounts, and more information, including funding options for Harvard College students.
Students receive on-campus housing at the University of Trento. Accommodations include single and double rooms. There is access to lounge areas and kitchens in the individual entryways. Laundry facilities are also available on site.
Contact Eva Strausberg Naldini at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students with disabilities
Students should contact the disability services coordinator as soon as possible. See Students with Disabilities for more information.