The human brain is the most complex piece of organized matter in the known universe. We’re working to uncover its mysteries.

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Our brains are what make us human. They give rise to our thoughts, actions, movements and desires, store our memories, and enable us to navigate our world every day. Yet despite decades of research—and impressive knowledge gathered about other aspects of the human body, including our entire genetic sequence—the brain remains largely unknown. 

The Allen Institute for Brain Science was established to answer some of the most pressing questions in neuroscience, grounded in an understanding of the brain and inspired by our quest to uncover the essence of what makes us human. 

Our Impact

See how researcher Randy Ellis uses the Allen Brain Observatory dataset as he works to find new ways to treat drug addiction.

Allen Brain Map

Access our online resources to investigate gene expression, connectivity, single cell morphology, electrophysiology data and more from mouse and human brains.

Brain Science News

News

These visual neurons don’t work the way scientists thought, study finds

December 16, 2019

Less than 10% of neurons in the mouse visual system behave the way scientists thought most such cells work to perceive the outside world. What the other 90% are doing is far from clear.

News

These small proteins reveal a new kind of brain diversity

December 5, 2019

Endorphins and other neuropeptides vary widely between brain cell types and point to new possible targets for psychiatric drugs, study finds

News

Data Stories | How bird brains help us understand our own

December 2, 2019

Erich Jarvis studies how vocal learning evolves. Allen Institute resources are helping him connect the dots from bird song to human speech.