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The Neuro Team

Cognitive Neurosciences

Understanding how information is processed and represented in the brain is one of the most challenging questions facing neuroscience research. Scientists in this group employ state-of-the-art techniques to advance our knowledge of the functional organization of the brain.


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Understanding how information is processed

Neuropsychology, or cognitive neuroscience, investigates the neural mechanisms underlying cognitive processes such as perception, memory, and thought. The MNI has a distinguished tradition in this research area and in 1989 received a major award from the McDonnell-Pew Program in Cognitive Neuroscience. Numerous studies are being carried out in collaboration with the McConnell Brain Imaging Centre and with Neurosurgery.

A variety of approaches are utilized to explore the functional organization of the brain, including analyses of cognitive impairments that follow damage to specific areas of the brain. In addition, neural circuits underlying cognitive processes are studied by PET in combination with MRI. In these studies, regional changes in cerebral metabolic activity are measured in volunteers performing tasks that require different cognitive processes. The details of neural function in brain systems that have been identified in human studies are then investigated in experimental animals. Studying the effect of lesions to specific brain areas and the activity of neurons in these areas in animals performing cognitive tasks allows the investigators to outline the neural computations that underlie cognitive processes.

Page last updated: Dec. 7, 2011 at 1:42 PM