Opportunities to Discuss Diversity-Related Topics in Neuroscience Courses

William B. Schreiber and Patrese A. Robinson-Drummer



Diversity is a foundational topic in psychology, and APA recommends that diversity is covered across the psychology curriculum.  Neuroscience courses face challenges with incorporating diversity-related topics owing to the historical lack of neuroscience research that focuses on diversity and the restricted range of diversity-related topics that neuroscience is typically associated with (i.e., health and disability status).  This may limit students’ learning of neuroscience’s contributions towards understanding diversity.  We review some specific examples of diversity-related topics that can be incorporated into neuroscience courses.  These examples have been selected to include topics across the three major content domains of neuroscience (cellular/molecular, neuroanatomy/systems,  and cognitive/behavioral), as well as across multiple diversity-related topics.  Neuroscience instructors can use these examples to incorporate greater coverage of diversity-related topics within their courses and/or as points of inspiration for their own curricular additions.  Providing systematic coverage of diversity-related topics in neuroscience courses highlights the ways neuroscience advances our understanding of human diversity and contributes to the educational objectives of psychology and neuroscience programs.