"As long as our brain is a mystery, the universe - the reflection of the structure of the brain - will also be a mystery."
(Santiago Ramon y Cajal)
How does learning, memory, and behavior emerge from networks of neurons?
Learning and cognition are not a product of isolated neurons, but the emergent property of complex networks of neurons. While great progress continues to be made in molecular and cellular neuroscience, as well as in cognitive neuroscience, there is a gap between these levels of analyses. One of our main focuses is to bridge this gap and understand how does learning and other complex computations emerge from the local circuits of the human brain?
How does the brain tell time?
While the brain's ability to tell time is a fundamental computation necessary for everything from speech recognition to anticipating events in the world around us, virtually nothing is known about how the brain tells time. We have hypothesized that timing is such an important component of brain function that most neural circuits are capable of telling time on the scale of milliseconds and seconds.
Answering the above questions is be necessary both to understand the brain and mind, and to unveil the causes of neurological disorders that impair learning, memory, and cognition.
To answer these questions our lab uses electrophysiological, computational, and psychophysical techniques.
Dean Buonomano, Ph.D.