Research Topics

As this gallery of featured people and projects illustrates, Picower Institute scientists study brain structure and function at scales from genes and molecules to cells, circuits and regions. They also study the behaviors and cognitive processes that result, and seek to uncover how disruptions at different scales can result in developmental, psychiatric or neurodegenerative disorders. They employ—and often invent—the newest technologies in their work. To learn more about any of these specific areas, click "Research Topics" above, select areas of interest, and you'll find relevant Picower people, discoveries and events.

Li-Huei Tsai

Picower Professor of Neuroscience
The Tsai lab is interested in elucidating the pathogenic mechanisms underlying neurological disorders that impact learning and memory by taking a multidisciplinary approach to investigate the molecular, cellular, and circuit basis of neurodegenerative disorders.

New faculty member studies immune system effect on the brain

February 20, 2019
Picower People
Gloria Choi's research has connected maternal infection with neurodevelopmental disorders

Mapping the brain, cell by cell, with SHIELD

December 17, 2018
Research findings
Technique for preserving tissue allows researchers to create maps of neural circuits with single-cell resolution

How returning to a prior context briefly heightens memory recall

December 11, 2018
Research findings
Going back to a scene makes engram cells more electrically excitable

MIT biologists discover an unusual hallmark of aging in neurons

November 27, 2018
Research findings
Snippets of RNA that accumulate in brain cells could interfere with normal function

A new model for how working memory gets you through the day

October 24, 2018
Research findings
Brain rhythms have crucial role in maintenance and control

Antidepressant restores youthful flexibility to aging inhibitory neurons in mice

August 20, 2018
Research findings
Neural plasticity, dendrite growth decline with age, study finds

Flavell earns School of Science named professorship

July 23, 2018
Tapped as the Lister Brothers Career Development Professor

Matt Wilson on Intelligence research at MIT

July 12, 2018
Q&A
From the Center for Brains Minds and Machines to the MIT Quest for Intelligence

The Developing Brain

July 11, 2018
News feature
Development research yields discoveries, insights, innovations

MIT scientists discover fundamental rule of brain plasticity

June 22, 2018
Research Findings
When a synapse strengthens, others immediately nearby weaken

Neuroscientists discover roles of gene linked to Alzheimer’s

May 31, 2018
Research Findings
Study reveals why people with the APOE4 gene have higher risk of the disease