In 1883, G. Stanley Hall founded the first psychological laboratory in America at Johns Hopkins University. American psychology has undergone many changes since then, and the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Hopkins has played a key role in that evolution.

Our graduate students are trained in psychological science through general and advanced seminars in the various subdisciplines of psychology, and by active engagement in research. We do not offer a clinical training program. Rather, our department emphasizes training and experience in the research methods essential to the development of new knowledge in the various fields of psychology.

The core program for training doctoral students emphasizes scientific methodology and provides training in both pure research and research related to problems in the world. Each doctoral candidate is expected to become familiar with both a relatively narrowly defined area and a broad spectrum of knowledge related to the student’s topic of specialization.

The department specifically supports interdisciplinary research in several core areas in biopsychology and cognitive and developmental psychology.

Areas of Instruction and Research


  • Animal Cognition and Learning
  • Animal Models of Neurocognitive Aging
  • Auditory Perception and Communication
  • Biological Rhythms
  • Brain Mechanisms of Memory
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Hormones and Behavior

Cognitive and Developmental Psychology

  • Age-related Neurocognitive Disorders
  • Attention
  • Cognitive and Perceptual Development
  • Cognitive Neuroscience and Functional Neuroimaging
  • Language Development
  • Memory
  • Visual Perception and Psychophysics
  • Social Cognition
  • Intuitive Psychology, Sociology, and Physics