Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 5 sessions / 1 week, 2 hours / session

Course Overview

All MIT graduate students in Brain and Cognitive Sciences are required to take this course and pass a written exam in order to perform research on human subjects. Information about these requirements can be found on the web sites listed in the related resources section.


To provide instruction and dialog on practical ethical issues relating to the responsible conduct of human and animal research in the brain and cognitive sciences. Specific emphasis will be placed on topics relevant to young researchers including data handling, animal and human subjects, misconduct, mentoring, intellectual property, and publication.


Assigned readings, to be completed prior to each class, will be taken from the text Scientific Integrity by Francis L. Macrina. Sessions will begin with a lecture by faculty to introduce each topic. The class will then be divided into smaller discussion groups of 4-5 students each. Case studies prepared for each class will be evaluated, and two groups will be selected to present each case for discussion by the entire group. Faculty will be available to facilitate and guide discussion.


An exam on readings from the text will be given at the end of the final class.