Research Profile Overview

The Kavli Institute’s concerted research focus is on circuit neuroscience: understanding the brain as if it were an electronic circuit. Based on the extensive body of groundbreaking research conducted to date by Columbia neuroscientists, the scientific mission of KIBS is rooted in the belief that information encoded by the brain’s myriad neural circuits holds the key to understanding cognitive functions such as perception, emotion, action, attention, and memory, and offers insights into the causes of neurological and psychiatric disease.

To that end, KIBS focuses on the development of novel experimental and computational strategies for analyzing how signaling in neural circuits controls mental function and behavior.

The big question uniting our research efforts is, “How does the brain work, and what can we learn about its impact on the nature of existence itself: how we think and perceive and interact with the world?” We seek to learn what lies behind sensory experiences, moods and emotions, decision-making, learning, memory—as well as disorders of learning and memory. It is our belief that understanding how the brain works will one day lead to treatments for a wide range of disorders of brain circuitry, such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, schizophrenia, and autism.

Visit our Initiatives page to learn how KIBS contributes to the research environment of Columbia University, including current award opportunities for eligible students, fellows, and faculty.