The Center for Neuroscience Research fosters interdisciplinary research on the nervous system at the undergraduate, doctoral, and postdoctoral levels. Approaches range from anatomy, electrophysiology and behavior to biochemistry, genetics, endocrinology and molecular biology.
Established in 1968, the unit has become widely known for its work on neuroplasticity including the development and plasticity of the nervous system (especially experience-dependent changes in synaptic connections) and factors that underlie and influence neurodegeneration and/or behavior. The Center has sponsored many seminars, symposia and conferences on these topics.
Center Associates investigate the formation of synaptic connections in many different animals such as the mouse, rat, zebrafish, crayfish, fruit fly, and frog. Members of the center also examine how neurons make connections, how excess connections are removed, how neurons recover from damage, and how such neural connections modulate or control behavior. Hormonal and drug effects on brain function are also investigated.
These research approaches are relevant for such problems as Alzheimer's Disease, epilepsy, strabismus, amblyopia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and diabetes. The Center promotes the exchange of research findings, especially the knowledge of new techniques, and encourages students to enter careers in neuroscience research.