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Neural systems & Behaviour

Intellectual Context

The nervous system does not function as an isolated assortment of molecules or neurons; it functions in an integrative manner to give rise to behaviour and experience. The major goal within this thematic area is to discover how it does so. The Neural systems and Behaviour thematic research area focuses on the analysis of the functions of the brain (such as attention, memory, reasoning) with the aim of understanding the brain systems that sustain and underlie specific psychological functions (such as spatial navigation or episodic memory).The empirical focus is on the manipulation and measurement of behavioural or cognitive variables using tools from a wide range of sciences, e.g. biology, genetics, anatomy, physiology, endocrinology, pharmacology, neuropsychology, cognitive psychology, mathematics, and computer science.

Functional MRI Study

Scientific and Societal Impact

Research in the Neural systems and Behaviour thematic research area addresses a major challenge for contemporary science: to understand the brain’s systems and circuits sufficiently to enable cures for neurological conditions associated with age, injury and disease.

Strategic Research Objectives

Research in the Neural systems and Behaviour focus area combines core competences in genetic, cellular, mathematical, behavioural and cognitive neuroscience with state-of-the-art engineering to address key questions in neuroscience:

  • Understand how neural circuits are built during development and change with experience.
  • Investigate sensory, perceptual and cognitive experience and how brain systems encode them.
  • Explore the neurocognitive processes that drive human behaviour through functions such as learning, memory and cognition, attention, reasoning and decision making, arousal, motivation, reward, and social interaction.
  • Apply this knowledge in a clinical context.
  • Develop new non-invasive techniques to analyse brain processes in health and disease, coupled to new data analytic and mathematical methods.
  • Explore new models to investigate normal and abnormal brain function and behaviour.
  • Investigate neuroplastic compensation mechanisms and how they could be enhanced.

Theme PIs

Theme PIs include:

Name Tel Ext. E-mail
Arun Bokde 4104
Aiden Corvin 2468
Alice Witney 1019
Andrew Harkin 2807
Claire Gillan 8526
Clare Kelly
Desmond O'Neill 3244
Fiona Newell 8402
Ian Robertson 2684
Jane Farrar 2258/3695
Kevin Mitchell 3067
Khurshid Ahmad 8429
Kumlesh Dev 4180
Lorina Naci
Mani Ramaswami 8400
Marian Tsanov 4829
Matt Campbell 2484
Paul Dockree 3910
Peter Humphries 1547
Redmond O'Connell 4543
Rhodri Cusack 2977
Richard Carson 8448
Richard Reilly 8471
Rob Whelan 1517
Roman Romero
Ruth Byrne 4054
Shane O Mara 8447
Tomás Ryan 1613
Simon Mccarthy Jones

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