Understanding the brain remains one of the great intellectual challenges for science, and it requires the integration of approaches from many disciplines. Caltech Neuroscience research spans a wide range of subjects: the molecular function of receptors; signaling organelles like the synapse; the structure and function of single neurons; the assembly and function of circuits of nerve cells; and the collective function of brain systems in controlling behavior, perception, memory, cognition, and emotion. Several laboratories are applying basic science findings to animal models of brain disorders, and these translational approaches are opening up novel therapeutic avenues. Finally, Caltech's traditional strength in engineering stimulates the development of new tools for brain science: from optical techniques to new twists of genetic engineering, to novel multi-electrode devices, to computational models and theories.
Molecules to Neurons
Molecular mechanisms of nervous-system development; neural crest development; axon guidance and synaptogenesis; ion channels, transporters, and receptors; structure and function of synapses; genetic tools for activating, silencing, and tracing neural circuits; molecular genetics of behavior.
Genetic tools for activating, silencing, and tracing neural circuits; optogenetic applications; multi-electrode devices; wireless recording; large-scale data analysis; computational modeling.
Neurons to Behavior
Function of neural circuits; neural coding of information; visual processing; object recognition; perception of space and motion in primates; neural mechanisms of emotional behavior; mechanisms of sleep; learning and memory; psychophysics of human perception, cognition, and action; social behavior in humans; complexity and control in brain architecture; evolution of brain and behavior in primates.
Neuroscience of Brain Disorders
Human brain imaging and neuropsychiatric disease; neural prosthetics; deep brain stimulation; interactions of brain and immune system; mouse models of neurological disease.