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.

Why visual stimulation may work against Alzheimer’s

May 7, 2019
Research Findings
New findings help explain the surprising discovery that exposure to flickering light reduces amyloid plaques in mice

A comprehensive map of how Alzheimer’s affects the brain

May 1, 2019
Research findings
Analysis of genes altered by the disease could provide targets for new treatments

Study reveals how glial cells may play key epilepsy role

April 30, 2019
Research findings
Mutation in disease model flies undermines maintenance of key ion balance

Alana gift to MIT launches Down syndrome research center, technology program for disabilities

March 20, 2019
New Research Center
Foundation’s $28.6 million gift will fund science, innovation, education to advance understanding, ability, inclusion.

Brain wave stimulation may improve Alzheimer’s symptoms

March 14, 2019
Research findings
Noninvasive treatment can improve Alzheimer’s symptoms such as memory loss and amyloid plaque buildup in mice.

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