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Princeton Neuroscience Institute (PNI)

Director

Jonathan D. Cohen

David W. Tank

Director of Graduate Studies

Carlos D. Brody

Executive Committee

Michael J. Berry, also Molecular Biology 

Matthew M. Botvinick, also Psychology 

Lisa M. Boulanger, also Molecular Biology 

Carlos D. Brody, also Molecular Biology 

Timothy J. Buschman, also Psychology

Jonathan D. Cohen, also Psychology 

Lynn W. Enquist, also Molecular Biology 

Asif A. Ghazanfar, also Psychology 

Elizabeth Gould, also Psychology 

Michael S. Graziano, also Psychology 

Uri Hasson, also Psychology 

Barry L. Jacobs, also Psychology 

Sabine Kastner, also Psychology 

Mala Murthy, also Molecular Biology 

Yael Niv, also Psychology 

Kenneth A. Norman, also Psychology 

David W. Tank, also Molecular Biology 

Samuel S. H. Wang, also Molecular Biology

Ilana B. Witten, also Psychology 

Associated Faculty

William Bialek, Physics and Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics

Elizabeth R. Gavis, Molecular Biology

Alan Gelperin, also Molecular Biology

Philip J. Holmes, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Coleen T. Murphy, Molecular Biology, Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics

Nicholas B. Turk-Browne, Psychology


Understanding how the brain works, and how it gives rise to mental function, is one of the most exciting challenges in science. This effort is inherently interdisciplinary, and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute (PNI) draws upon developments in molecular and cell biology, genetic engineering, and cognitive and social psychology, as well as applied math, chemistry, computer science, economics, engineering, and physics, for new methods of measuring and understanding neural function.

One of the goals of the institute is to understand how the whole system works together as one unit from all of the very complex interactions and underlying parts. Princeton collaborators utilize their expertise in quantitative disciplines to answer these questions. There is a particular emphasis on the close connection between theory, modeling, and experimentation using the most advanced technologies.

One of the most important objectives of the institute is to provide Princeton undergraduates with training at the forefront of neuroscience. The program encourages the serious study of molecular, cellular, developmental, and systems neuroscience as it interfaces with cognitive and behavioral research. Current research at Princeton includes molecular, genetic, and pharmacologic analysis of learning and memory; the role of neural stem cells in the adult brain; viral infections of the nervous system; optical and electrical recordings of neuronal function; brain imaging studies of cognitive functions, such as attention and memory in humans; and mathematical and computational analysis of neural network function. A more extensive listing of research opportunities in neuroscience is available online.

In addition to providing centralized curricular resources for students and faculty, the institute offers shared scientific facilities and access to state-of-the-art instruments for studying the brain, including two research dedicated scanners (a 3 Tesla head-dedicated Siemens Allegra MRI scanner, with phased-array, head and surface coils, capable of anatomic and functional MRI as well as proton NMR spectroscopy (MRS) and a 3 Tesla Siemens Skyra MRI scanner, a whole body wide-bore clinical standard MRI scanner, equipped with current state-of the-art transmit/receive system and a variety of RF coils, capable of anatomic and functional MRI and MRS), integrated EEG systems, an eye tracker, a laser scanning confocal microscope, a transmission electron microscope, and large computing clusters to name a few.