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Exploring the brain’s circuitry and activity

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.

 

We aim to discover how neurons’ activity – and changes in that activity – allow the brain to perform complex but fundamental computations and drive flexible behaviors.

Our experiments and open resources shed light on behavior, memory, how we handle uncertainty and risk, how we and other animals chase rewards, and how some or all of these complicated cognitive functions go awry in neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression, ADHD, or addiction.

Blue mouse brain. High-resolution brain-wide imaging of axonal arbors to examine connectivity in defined cell types

Blue mouse brain

High-resolution brain-wide imaging of axonal arbors to examine connectivity in defined cell types.

The brain contains an amazing complexity of neural circuits, which have been sculpted by evolution to produce our behavior in the world. The Allen Institute for Neural Dynamics aims to discover how information...

Our Approach

How do our brains understand the world around us to guide fundamental human behaviors? To answer these questions, our scientists analyze and trace the path of neural signals in neural circuits cascading and interacting across the whole brain and body. Our approach is focused on how the brain works rather than what it is made of at a cellular or molecular level. Teams of researchers working collaboratively develop next-generation neuro-technologies that capture massive amounts of data that are shared with the wider scientific community. The goal is to catalyze scientific discovery that will lead to treatments and therapies for brain disorders.

Learn more about our groups.

The electrophysiology group aims to monitor and manipulate spikes with high spatiotemporal specificity in order to open up new avenues for understanding the neural underpinnings of behavior. Learn more.

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The mission for Scientific Computing is to accelerate scientific discovery for the AIND team and the scientific community at large, by creating a best-in-class open, reproducible, and scalable platform for scientific data storage, analysis, and sharing. Learn more.

Learn more about our other Scientific Divisions & Programs.

MindScope Program

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.

Learn more

Allen Institute for Cell Science

The Allen Institute for Cell Science is focused on exploring and understanding human cells — the incredibly complex building blocks of our bodies. We use advanced technologies and work collaboratively to study the cell and its components as an integrated system.

Learn more