Solving the mysteries of bioscience
We are an independent nonprofit bioscience research institute aimed at unlocking the mysteries of human biology through foundational science.
Foundational Science Fuels Breakthroughs
We are leaders in large-scale research that transforms our understanding of human health and disease and shapes how science is conducted worldwide.
Inspiring Next-Generation Scientists
To us, open science extends to inspiring the next generation of scientists by supporting access to science resources, research, and experiences.
The Allen Institute Mindscope Program uses the Allen Brain Observatory, a standardized experimental platform, to explore how transformations in the brain lead to behavior and conscious experience.
The findings speak to the core of who we are as rational, emotional, and thinking animals. We observe and model how the brain translates external information into electrical signals that illuminate how we respond to the external world.
The Allen Brain Observatory
The Allen Brain Observatory is a standardized experimental platform that takes a large-scale approach to study neurons as they fire in a living animal. Viewing this complex cascade of electrical signals sheds light on how our brains make sense of and act on visual information.
Observatory experiments rely on Neuropixels, thin silicon probes that were developed to record the electrical signals from hundreds or thousands of neurons at once.
Check out data from the brain observatory
MindScope Allen Institute calcium imaging illuminates neurons.
An Open Call for Scientific Discovery
OpenScope is a platform for scientists outside the Allen Institute to submit experimental proposals on brain function to carry out through the Allen Brain Observatory. Once a year, Allen Institute scientists review and select proposals, lowering barriers to testing hypotheses and bringing new talents to the forefront of neuroscience.
Christof Koch, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist, MindScope Program
To understand how incoming light from the observable world hitting our retinas leads to visual perception, and in turn, produces thought and guides behavior, we observe, perturb, and model the flickering electrical signals that allow neurons in the brain to communicate with each other. To do this, we operate team-based Brain Observatories that measure the brain’s electrical output and make the rich data from these cellular surveys freely and publicly available.
Learn more about our research and teams:
Check out more news from the Allen Institute Mindscope Program.
Learn more about our other Scientific Divisions.
The Allen Institute for Neural Dynamics explores the brain’s activity, at the level of individual neurons and the whole brain, to reveal how we interpret our environments to make decisions.
The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group works to fulfill our founder’s lifelong quest to push the limits of science and to reshape our understanding of human biology.