Research

The Center for Systems Neuroscience brings together neurosciecne researchers from across Boston University, spanning two campuses, four schools and colleges, and numerous departments. There are also a number of other interdisciplinary research centers and initiatives across Boston University related to the Center for Systems Neuroscience. Although the research interests of faculty members represent a wide array subjects within systems neuroscience, they may be broadly categorized into four research areas:

Learning & Memory:

The Center for Systems Neuroscience has an especially active and collaborative community of neuroscientists, mathematicians, physicists, and engineers focused on investigating the neural basis of learning and memory. Approaching the subject from both experimental and theoretical perspectives, researchers study healthy learning and memory, as well as the origins of learning and memory disorders, and develop novel therapies to treat them.

Dr. Helen Barbas Dr. Uri Eden Dr. Howard Eichenbaum Dr. David H. Farb
Dr. Xue Han Dr. Michael Hasselmo Dr. Marc Howard Dr. Tsuneya Ikezu
Dr. Ronald J. Killiany Dr. Nancy Kopell Dr. Mark Kramer Dr. Jennifer Luebke
Dr. Douglas Rosene Dr. Karin Schon Dr. Timothy Otchy Dr. Chantal Stern
Dr. John White Dr. Melissa Kibbe Dr. Chandramouli Chandrasekaran Dr. Laura Lewis

Speech & Hearing:

Researchers at Boston University have a long history of conducting groundbreaking research in the science of speech and hearing, with roots tracing back to work done by faculty member Alexander Graham Bell. Today, Center for Systems Neuroscience faculty continue that tradition, working on topics including the neural bases of language production, auditory perception, song perception and production in birds, and disorders of hearing and language and their treatments.

Dr. Tim Gardner Dr. Frank Guenther Dr. Swathi Kiran Dr. Tyler Perrachione
Dr. Barbara Shinn-Cunningham Dr. Helen Tager-Flusberg

Attention & Perception:

Two major issues in neuroscience are how the brain perceives sensory information and how and the brain allocates its limited processing power to relevant stimuli at a given time. Scientists at the Center for Systems Neuroscience are tackling these problems through studying attention and perception in humans, animals, and artificial systems.

Dr. Michael Baum Dr. Alice Cronin-Golomb Dr. Ian Davison Dr. Nancy Kopell
Dr. Sam Ling Dr. Jason Ritt Dr. Michele Rucci Dr. David Somers
Dr. Laura Lewis

Developmental & Degenerative Disorders:

At the Center for Systems Neuroscience, a significant portion of research is dedicated to understanding and alleviating developmental and degenerative brain disorders. Researchers here are investigating causes of and treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, autism, Down syndrome, and Huntington’s disease from the molecular scale to the systems level. By leveraging resources at Boston University and in the surrounding area, CSN scientists seek to provide insights into these debilitating disorders.

Dr. Tarik Haydar Dr. Mark Kramer Dr. Mark Moss Dr. Richard Myers
Dr. Douglas Rosene Dr. Shelley Russek Dr. Jean-Jacques Soghomonian Dr. Chantal Stern
Dr. Helen Tager-Flusberg

Decision & Action:

Understanding the mechanisms of goal directed behavior requires understanding the neural mechanisms of decision and action selection. Researchers at Boston University use a range of different experimental and computational modeling techniques to understand cortical and subcortical mechanisms for decisions and motivated behavior. These techniques include neurophysiological recording of cortical activity, 2-photon imaging of calcium dynamics in the cortex and basal ganglia, functional magnetic resonance imaging in humans, and detailed modeling of cortical and subcortical circuits involved in decision and action selection.

Dr. Daniel Bullock Dr. Jerry Chen Dr. Mark Howe Dr. Joe McGuire
Dr. Ben Scott Dr. Chantal Stern

Neurophotonics & Circuit Mapping:

The BRAIN initiative has highlighted the importance of developing new imaging tools for understanding the function of neural circuits.  Boston University has a new Center for Neurophotonics program led by Prof. David Boas and affiliated with the Photonics Center led by Prof. Tom Bifano.  Multiple investigators at Boston University use cutting-edge techniques for imaging activity in neural circuits, including two-photon and single-photon imaging techniques in behaving rodents. Investigators also use optogenetic techniques for functional activation or inactivation of identified cell populations. Neurophotonics researchers are also developing new technologies including adaptive optics and 3-photon imaging.

Dr. David Boas Dr. Jerome Mertz Dr. Jerry Chen Dr. Siddharth Ramachandran
Dr. Alberto Cruz-Martin Dr. Ian Davison Dr. Xue Han Dr. Michael Hasselmo
Dr. Mark Howe Dr. Steve Ramirez Dr. Ben Scott

Computational Neuroscience:

Boston University faculty have been at the forefront of research in Computational Neuroscience. This work includes research led by Prof. Nancy Kopell that explores the dynamics of neural circuits and work pioneered by Prof. Stephen Grossberg on the the functional capabilities of adaptive networks. Faculty use techniques of computational neuroscience to model physiological dynamics of cortical circuits and link this to neurophysiological data. The Graduate Program for Neuroscience includes a track for students studying computational neuroscience in faculty laboratories.

Dr. Nancy Kopell Dr. Stephen Grossberg Dr. Uri Eden Dr. Frank Guenther
Dr. Barbara Shinn-Cunningham Dr. Mark Kramer Dr. Michael Hasselmo Dr. Daniel Bullock
Dr. Arash Yazdanbakhsh Dr. Marc Howard Dr. John White Dr. Laura Lewis