Advancing the frontiers of neuroscience
The ability to think and reason, to perceive the world around you and to remember it hours or even years later, to make elaborate plans and to execute those plans effectively — all these astounding cognitive functions arise from the collective activity of networks of neurons in the brain. However, we are still far from understanding of these emergent functions, and equally far from capturing them in artificial systems.
To achieve these challenging goals requires the interdisciplinary combination of mathematically sophisticated computational models, complex experimental approaches, and innovations in technology to enable the capture of ever more precise information about how the brain functions. The Center for Mind, Brain, Computation and Technology is a community of researchers, students and community members dedicated to this interdisciplinary approach.
Through its seminar series, symposium, and graduate student training programs, the center aims to inspire new advances in our understanding of neuroscience and its applications, and to give future generations of scientists the tools to investigate the emergent functions of the brain and to contribute to the development of artificial systems that emulate them.
“Computational models and developments in the theory of neural computation have played a tremendous role in transforming our understanding of the mind and brain. The Center for Mind, Brain, Computation and Technology will continue to support interdisciplinary engagement and training to further deepend our understanding, now drawing more fully on the rapidly developing tools provided by neurotechnology.”
— Jay McClelland, co-Director, Center for Mind, Brain, Computation and Technology
Graduate Training Programs
One of the primary goals of the Center for Mind, Brain, Computation and Technology is to train new generations of researchers and engineers, introducing them to the skills and background knowledge they will need to advance the frontiers of neuroscience. The center runs two graduate student training programs.
The National Science Foundation-funded NeuroTech training program immerses graduate students from technical fields, such as physics, engineering, computer science and statistics, in neuroscience courses and research. Over the course of three years, and with the support of faculty mentors, NeuroTech trainees gain the experience and skills to become neuroscientists who can bring new technologies to fruition in academia, medicine, and the private sector.
The Mind, Brain, Computation and Technology training program emphasizes a similar interdisciplinary approach for its trainees. It supports students as they stretch beyond the traditional boundaries of their PhD program or lab to integrate empirical approaches with quantitative, computational or theoretical disciplines in order to advance their education and research.