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.

Study finds that aging neurons accumulate DNA damage

May 18, 2020
Research Findings
Reactivating an enzyme that promotes DNA repair can help to reverse age-related cognitive decline in mice.

Study finds ‘volume dial’ for turning neural communication up or down

May 6, 2020
Research Findings
The protein Synaptotagmin 7 limits supply of neurotransmitter-containing vesicles for release at synapses

Neuroscientists find memory cells that help us interpret new situations

April 6, 2020
Research Findings
Neurons that store abstract representations of past experiences are activated when a new, similar event takes place

Look and Learn: Studying the visual system

March 13, 2020
Research Feature
Research on how the brain processes sight has told neuroscientists much about how the brain works more broadly

Genetic screen offers new drug targets for Huntington’s disease

January 30, 2020
Research findings
Neuroscientists identify genes that modulate the disease’s toxic effects

With these neurons, extinguishing fear is its own reward

January 15, 2020
Research findings
The same neurons responsible for encoding reward also form new memories to suppress fearful ones

Study may explain how infections reduce autism symptoms

December 18, 2019
Research Findings
An immune molecule sometimes produced during infection can influence the social behavior of mice.

Human Models of Disease

December 16, 2019
News Feature
Stem cell, genetic technologies enable sophisticated studies of human brain cells and brain "organoids"

Study probing visual memory, amblyopia unveils many-layered mystery

December 13, 2019
Research Findings
Plasticity underlying amblyopia found in visual cortex layer 4

Memory and its meaning

October 7, 2019
News Feature
25 Years of Picower Institute research

Study finds hub linking movement and motivation in the brain

September 19, 2019
Research findings
Detailed observations in the lateral septum indicate region processes movement, reward information to help direct behavior

Neuroscientists look to the body to better understand the brain

July 1, 2019
News Feature
Studies yield new insights into behavior, development, anesthesia