Research Areas

Cognitive Neuroscience:

The neural substrates for mental processes are studied by several labs. It is supported by the Center for Advanced Brain Imaging.

Computational and Dynamical Systems:

Activity in the nervous system is inherently dynamic. This field of study seeks to describe such activity using analytic and computational tools. Faculty interests include interests in oscillatory and synchronous activity.

Developmental Neuroscience:

The assembly of the neural system at the cellular systems levels is an important topic of research.

Neural Basis of Behavior:

Understanding the mechanisms underlying the production of behavior is a major goal of much of the research in the institute. The neural basis of Social Behavior is the focus of the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience (CBN).

Neural Circuits:

The synaptic interconnections of neurons form the basis of the nervous system. Research in the Neuroscience Institute is directed at understanding how networks of interacting neurons function as a system.

Neuroendocrinology and Neuroimmunology:

The mutual interactions between the brain and hormonal system is a strong area of research. The interaction of the brain and the immune system as well as the gut are emerging research areas.


The interactions of genes and the neural functions is an emerging strength. Several laboratories are using transcriptomic approaches to studying the nervous system. The Center for Neuromics aids in this field of research.

Neurophilosophy and Neuroethics:

Philosophical questions about the nature of the mind, such as consciousness, agency, emotion, language, imagination, mental disorders, and moral behavior are examined by several faculty members. Neuroethics considers how ethical theories can inform neuroscientific practice and how neuroscientific discoveries inform ethical theories.


The development of therapeutic interventions for neurological conditions and disease includes understanding mechanisms of plasticity and development that contribute to a functional and healthy nervous system.

Science Education:

An important area of research at the Neuroscience Institute is in mechanisms and practices of science education. This includes K-12 education as well as college level.