The Brown Institute for Brain Science catalyzes interdisciplinary study of higher brain function: the extraordinary capabilities of learning, memory, cognition and action that the brain exhibits. Research falls under three themes:
- Fundamental discovery: Basic research on the genes, molecules, cells, circuits, and systems that give rise to higher brain function
- Brain health: Deploying neurotechnology to aid the broken nervous system, and sleuthing out the fundamental mechanisms underlying nervous system disorders
- Neurotechnology: Developing neurotechnology and smart machines to improve health and society
To support research under these themes and to coalesce scientists around specific areas of strength, BIBS is forming research centers and initiatives. The Center for Vision Research unites scientists studying biological and computational vision. The Center for the Neurobiology of Cells and Circuits unifies researchers investigating molecular mechanisms of neuron and synapse funcation, particularly at the genetic and molecular level, with the goal of revealing common mechanisms underlying multiple nervous system disorders. The Initiative in Computation in Brain and Mind supports the collection of Brown faculty pursuing computational and theoretical approaches to understanding the Brown, and connects that group to experimentalists, clinicians, and engineers. The Neurotechnology Initiative builds on the success of the BrainGate neural interface clinical trial and research effort to expand the number of neurotechnologies available for improved clinical care of diseases such as epilepsy, obsessive compulsive disorder, and depression.