CSHL neuroscientists focus on understanding how neural connections in the brain translate into behavior. Their research provides insights into the circuitry underlying complex cognitive processes such as decision-making and attention, as well as developing tools to map circuit disruptions associated with neurological disorders, like Alzheimer’s disease, autism, schizophrenia and depression.
Neuroscience research at CSHL is centered on three broad themes: sensory processing, cognition, and mental disorders. Sensory processing research explores how sensory experiences, like sound, smell, and sight, are integrated with decision-making. The cognition group uses the tools of modern neuroscience (genetic, molecular, physiology and imaging) to study the neural circuitry that underlies attention, memory, and decision-making. Researchers also study cognitive disorders, defining the genetic basis of diseases like autism and schizophrenia and identifying the neural circuits that are disrupted in these disorders. In addition, there is an effort to develop new anatomical methods to improve our understanding of brain circuits, connectivity, and function.
Much of the work is highly collaborative and interdisciplinary. Many neuroscientists apply physics, math, and engineering principles to the study of cognition, including research funded by the Swartz Foundation.
The genetic landscape of autism
August 16, 2022
CSHL Professor Michael Wigler discusses 20 years of research to paint a complete picture of the genetic causes of autism.
After 100 years of research, autism remains a puzzle
August 4, 2022
One geneticist is determined to piece together the causes of autism.
Mapping brain disorder therapeutics at work
July 29, 2022
Dive into the 3D atomic structure of the NMDA receptor, important in several brain disorders, and see how it interacts with drugs that inhibit it.
LIVE At the Lab: NeuroAI: Learning from the brain and AI
July 6, 2022
A recorded webinar featuring CSHL Professor Anthony Zador on how lessons from the brain can help build better artificial intelligence programs.
CSHL welcomes neuroscientist Helen Hou
July 1, 2022
The Hou Lab will explore how the brain controls movement and behavior, including how it makes facial expressions and conveys emotion.
Unlocking mom’s brain
June 20, 2022
Maternal care offers a window on our social behaviors.
Mapping out new routes to treat brain disorders
June 10, 2022
CSHL scientists explore new angles to improve brain disorder therapies with 3D maps of the NMDA receptor, a key player in Alzheimer's and epilepsy.
Building better AI with the power of neuroscience
June 8, 2022
Artificial Intelligence (AI) experts at CSHL are creating better AI by deciphering brain circuits.
Simón(e) Sun named a 2022 Leading Edge Fellow
June 2, 2022
CSHL postdoc Simón(e) Sun was selected as a 2022 Leading Edge Fellow for her work on the protein estrogen receptor beta and its role in the nervous system.
CSHL neuroscientist named a Searle Scholar
May 23, 2022
Assistant Professor Arkarup Banerjee receives a $300,000 award to study brain circuits involved in vocalization.
Picky proteins: A new angle for brain disorder therapeutics
May 20, 2022
Researchers have designed an antibody that may help treat brain disorders. See how it prevents neurons from malfunctioning.
How hormones define brain sex differences
May 4, 2022
Researchers have mapped the genes estrogen uses to establish male and female neural circuits during brain development in mice.
Neuroscientist Gabrielle Pouchelon joins CSHL faculty
March 25, 2022
She studies the genetic and environmental factors that steer brain development.
Mom’s protective behaviors run deep
March 24, 2022
Neuroscientists found an ancient part of the mouse brain may coordinate maternal protective behaviors.
Uncovering how immune cells nurture brain connections
March 7, 2022
Microglia cells nurture connections during brain development, which contrasts to the cells’ previously understood role in pruning connections.
AI is helping scientists explain our brain
February 28, 2022
Neuroscientists are turning to artificial intelligence to help them understand the brain, but what if AI misses the true story?
Brain waves churn differently when paying attention
February 2, 2022
See the shapes and speeds of electrical waves in the brain change in response to attentiveness.
Finding structure in the brain’s static
February 1, 2022
CSHL researchers found that the brain’s state of attentiveness may be encoded in the shapes and speeds of slow electrical waves.
CSHL neuroscientist Lucas Cheadle named Emerging Scholar
January 20, 2022
Diverse: Issues In Higher Education magazine named CSHL Assistant Professor Lucas Cheadle a top “40 and under” scholar.
CSHL and Veranome partner to accelerate brain mapping tech
January 18, 2022
CSHL Professor Anthony Zador and Veranome Biosystems are collaborating to improve brain mapping technology using engineering solutions.
Test your brain
January 4, 2022
How much do scientists know about the brain? Find out with this neuroscience quiz.
Did you hear the one about the swimming worm?
December 28, 2021
CSHL NeuroAI scholars combine artificial intelligence (AI) with neuroscience. One scholar developed an AI program for worm locomotion.
Why AI needs a genome
December 21, 2021
AI could learn and adapt like humans with algorithms that work like genes.
Taking a course at the Banbury Center: Small gatherings at the cutting edge
December 10, 2021
Dr. Greg Lemke has visited Banbury as a meeting participant, organizer, and Course instructor. Read here why CSHL courses at Banbury are unique.
Fine-tuning motivation in the brain
December 9, 2021
Scientists have pinpointed a group of neurons in the brain that can adjust a mouse’s motivational drive to seek out rewards.
Feeling sluggish? Blame a lack of estrogen
November 15, 2021
Estrogen affects how physically active women are. Scientists have found a set of neurons that drive physical activity in mice.
Estrogen: It makes a mouse move
November 11, 2021
Exposure to high levels of estrogen causes female mice to be very active. Scientists figured out a way to mimic that hyperactivity.
The origins of a map: From Banbury to the BICCN
October 25, 2021
With part of the brain now mapped out and published, how did the project authors first come together to plan the project? They met up at Banbury.
Mammalian motivation circuits: Maybe they’re born with it
October 18, 2021
CSHL researchers found that young mice have neurons responsible for processing “positive” or “negative” signals before they experience those cues.
Building on 150 years of neuroanatomy
October 7, 2021
Learn more about how researchers reached a milestone in a years-long effort to catalog the cells of the human, mouse, and monkey brains.
CSHL researcher wins NIH Director’s Pioneer Award
October 5, 2021
CSHL Adjunct Professor Z. Josh Huang was recognized for new cell engineering tools that will have broad applications in biological research.
qBrain: Mapping out brain similarities and differences
August 20, 2021
CSHL researchers developed qBrain, a technique that automates complete brain-wide analyses.
CSHL Professor Hiro Furukawa wins Tsukahara Memorial Award
August 6, 2021
CSHL Professor Hiro Furukawa was awarded the Nakaakira Tsukahara Memorial Award from the Japan Neuroscience Society for his NMDA receptor research.
URP: Summer camp for undergrads
July 29, 2021
The Undergraduate Research Program brings college students from around the world to CSHL for a summer of research and fun.
CSHL’s Lucas Cheadle receives Rita Allen Award
July 26, 2021
CSHL Assistant Professor Lucas Cheadle received the Rita Allen Scholar Award from the Rita Allen Foundation.
Using “guilt by association” to classify cells
July 14, 2021
Using a new computational statistics tool, CSHL researchers classify cells to understand how an organism functions.
CSHL neuroscientist awarded Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship
June 10, 2021
Assistant Professor Lucas Cheadle was awarded the Klingenstein-Simons Neuroscience Fellowship for his microglia research.
Envisagenics and Biogen partner for RNA splicing research
June 9, 2021
CSHL spin-out company Envisagenics teams up with Biogen to advance research in RNA-based therapeutics for central nervous system diseases.
CSHL neuroscientist Lucas Cheadle named McKnight Scholar
June 4, 2021
Assistant Professor Lucas Cheadle has been named a 2021 McKnight Scholar for his work on microglia.
COVID-19 can’t stop collaboration
May 18, 2021
The Banbury Center is the Laboratory’s biology think tank. During the pandemic, it convened virtually and published policy papers.
Diagramming the brain with colorful connections
May 10, 2021
CSHL scientists developed a new tool that identifies brain cell types and traces their connections.
Reversing a genetic cause of poor stress responses in mice
April 7, 2021
CSHL researchers discovered how a gene prevents mice from coping with stressful situations. They found several ways to reverse its effects.
Increasing access to digital mental health treatments
March 10, 2021
Banbury Center meeting participants published a white paper on policies and practices for digital mental health treatments.
The doctor will sniff you now
March 1, 2021
Dogs can sniff out many diseases, likely including COVID-19. CSHL scientists are developing an AI-based “Deep Nose” to mimic that diagnostic sniff.
CSHL endorses ALBA Declaration on Equity and Inclusion
January 12, 2021
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is endorsing the ALBA Declaration on Equity and Inclusion to promote equality in the field of neuroscience.
NIH BRAIN Initiative invests $9.7 million in CSHL scientists
December 29, 2020
CSHL scientists received grants to broaden our knowledge of the human brain and how to treat neurological disorders.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory: Science is hope
December 21, 2020
The Laboratory is a leading research center for genetics, cancer, plant biology, quantitative biology, and neuroscience.
Mice with too many chandelier cells lack depth perception
December 8, 2020
Chandelier cells should decrease in number as animals develop. Mice with too many cells lack depth perception.
Problems with depth perception caused by too many cells
December 7, 2020
Chandelier cells should decrease in number as animals develop. If too many remain, brain systems may not work properly.
Generous CSHL neighbor endows graduate student fellowship
November 30, 2020
Dr. Mukund Padmanabhan has donated a $1 million endowment for a fellowship in computational neuroscience at the CSHL School of Biological Sciences.
Partha Mitra: AI and brain circuits
November 30, 2020
Mitra answers audience questions about how understanding brain connections can bring medical and technological breakthroughs.
How to figure out what you don’t know
November 30, 2020
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Assistant Professor Tatiana Engel discusses how a model like Ptolemy’s seems to explain the world and yet is wrong.
LIVE at the Lab with Partha Mitra: AI and brain circuits
November 27, 2020
CSHL Professor Partha Mitra presents some challenges for neuroscientists and how artificial intelligence (AI) helps overcome them.
Patricia Churchland: Social Conscience
November 24, 2020
Patricia Churchland, founder of the field of neurophilosophy, discusses research on the origins of human morality and social bonding.
LIVE At the Lab with Patricia Churchland: Social Conscience
November 24, 2020
Scientist and philosopher Patricia Churchland discusses the evolutionary basis of morality and social bonding in humans.
Assistant Professor Cheadle named Next Generation Leader
November 19, 2020
CSHL Assistant Professor Lucas Cheadle has been named a Next Generation Leader by the Allen Institute for Brain Science.
Bo Li and Richard Sever present at “Life Science Across the Globe”
November 18, 2020
Professor Bo Li and Assistant Director of CSHL Press Richard Sever gave talks as part of the “Life Science Across the Globe” series.
Singing mice will teach us about our own conversations
November 9, 2020
Assistant Professor Arkarup Banerjee joins the neuroscience faculty, focusing on how the mind processes information and produces behaviors.
How does the brain process fear?
November 3, 2020
Though fear memories are made in the amygdala, a structure deep in the brain, lots of other brain structures participate.
NeuroAI program connects AI experts with neuroscientists
November 2, 2020
The CSHL NeuroAI program is training researchers to be fluent in neuroscience and AI to expedite the development of next-generation AI.
How to figure out what you don’t know
October 26, 2020
Sometimes, what seems like a good way to understand the world turns out to be wrong. A new machine learning tool lets scientists find better answers.
AI learns to trace neuronal pathways
September 28, 2020
A picture of the brain’s rich interconnections is emerging with the help of ever more accurate computer-aided approaches.
Fuerth wins BBRF Young Investigator Grant in neuro research
September 25, 2020
Daniel Fuerth, a postdoctoral fellow in Assistant Professor Je Lee’s lab,will study the transfer of genetic material between neurons in the brain.
The motivation center of the mouse brain in 3D
September 15, 2020
A 3D-model of the mouse brain (gray) showing the dorsal striatum (green), which includes the striosome. Model: Allen Brain Atlas
Reward and punishment take similar paths in the mouse brain
September 15, 2020
One brain structure is involved with both positive and negative reinforcement types of learning.
Immune cells sculpt circuits in the brain
September 14, 2020
Immune cells play an unexpected role in fine-tuning the brain’s neural circuits.
Stress, sleep, and immunity
September 9, 2020
Researchers found the brain circuit that connects stress-induced insomnia and the immune system in mice.
How the senses shape the brain
August 6, 2020
Neuroscientist Lucas Cheadle joins CSHL neuroscience faculty, and studies how outside stimuli affect brain development.
How to map brain connections using DNA barcodes
July 14, 2020
A new technique labels brain cells with short snippets of DNA to trace many neuronal connections at a time.
Brain receptor pulls open electrical gate like a puppet master
June 30, 2020
When stimulated by a neurotransmitter or drug, the NMDA receptor pulls open an ion gate that allows ions to flow.
How does the NMDA receptor work?
June 30, 2020
CSHL Professor Hiro Furukawa describes how the NMDA receptor opens and closes its ion channel.
How chandelier cells light up the brain
June 18, 2020
Until now, chandelier cells were largely enigmatic, but new technology makes them accessible to researchers.
What do these scientist moms do? Ask their kids.
May 8, 2020
We asked the children of three scientists to describe their mother’s work. See what they had to say.
Charting a new field of cancer neuroscience
April 16, 2020
A Banbury Center meeting of 35 experts proposes a new field to study the relationship between cancer and neuroscience.
Science of love quiz
February 14, 2020
Scientists are on the trail of finding out what makes people fall in love. Test your knowledge on the science of love.
Tatiana Engel named 2020 Sloan Fellow
February 12, 2020
Assistant Professor Tatiana Engel is named a 2020 Sloan Fellow for her work on computational models of decision-making.
Studying what connects cancer and the brain
January 28, 2020
Assistant Professor Jeremy Borniger joins the CSHL faculty to study the link between the brain and cancer.
New tool for investigating brain cells, Parkinson’s, & more
January 22, 2020
Researchers have created a new chemical tool for revealing how specific types of brain cell receptors function in the brain.
New tool for investigating brain cells, Parkinson’s, & more
January 22, 2020
Researchers have crafted a compound for targeting specific brain cell receptors, creating new opportunities to study the brain and Parkinson’s disease.
Abnormal neuron activity manifests as parental neglect
January 8, 2020
Without the gene Mecp2, mice can’t learn to care for crying pups. Knowing when the brain is able to learn may help treat developmental disorders.
How the brain balances pleasure and pain
December 31, 2019
The brain balances signals that either excite or inhibit neurons and influence the motivation of an animal to seek a reward or avoid punishment.
The difference between an expert’s brain and a novice’s
November 18, 2019
Researchers use computational models to observe how changing neural activity can help mice learn new tasks and make better decisions.
CSHL postdocs receive NARSAD Young Investigator Grants
October 30, 2019
Two CSHL neuroscience postdocs conducting neurobiological and psychiatric research received the 2019 NARSAD Young Investigators grant.
Seeking better treatment for ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease
October 29, 2019
Researchers found that ‘jumping genes’ were de-silenced in post-mortem tissue samples of ALS patients.
BARseq builds a better brain map
October 17, 2019
Created by CSHL neuroscientists, BARseq is capable of mapping connections within a brain at single-neuron resolution while tracing their gene expression.
New brain research could change how concussions are treated
October 13, 2019
Blood vessel damage seems to be more widespread than nerve damage in patients with traumatic brain injuries.
Adrian Krainer wins Zülch Prize for lifesaving SMA Treatment
October 8, 2019
Professor Adrian Krainer is awarded the K-J. Zülch Prize for the development and testing of a first-of-its-kind treatment for spinal muscular atrophy.
Mice, like humans, fidget when deep in thought
September 24, 2019
Mice seemed to fidget while making decisions, prompting neuroscientists to think more about the connection between movement and cognition.
Are smart robots a threat?
August 23, 2019
In a Q&A, Neuroscientist Anthony Zador explains how neuroscience can inform machine learning, and why he’s not worried about a robot apocalypse.
Understanding the animal brain could help robots wash your dishes
August 21, 2019
The field of machine learning still has a lot it can glean from neuroscience, especially in how evolution shapes an animal brain.
New brain map could improve AI algorithms for machine vision
August 20, 2019
A revised view of the primate visual system may serve as a future reference for understanding how vision works in humans.
How a lab and its model animals changed science
August 13, 2019
The natural history of science at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory through the lens of animal research.
Creature feature quiz
July 31, 2019
Animals have been the muses behind major scientific breakthroughs for ages. See how much you know about the living organisms sharing the Earth with us.
Of mice and model organisms
July 31, 2019
An in-depth look at how veterinarians at CSHL help take care of the various organisms that help researchers answer fundamental biological questions.
There’s more to smell than meets the nose
July 22, 2019
Neuroscience researchers work to figure out our brains process smells, including what features are essential to identifying and separating odors.
Quantifying how the brain smells
July 22, 2019
Neuroscience researchers at CSHL are trying to figure out how the brain processes smells and what features of odors are important in that process.
Interview with a neuroscientist
May 31, 2019
CSHL Professor Bo Li’s lab studies the biology behind mental disorders. Learn more about how Li’s work is changing the way we think about mental health.
Banbury meeting addresses neurotechnology concerns
March 13, 2019
A white paper written after an important Banbury Center meeting discusses the lack of oversight in direct-to-consumer neurotechnologies.
New cell subtypes classified in mouse brain
March 12, 2019
To map a brain, an intuitive system for classifying neuron types is necessary. Now, a promising approach reveals new cell subtypes in the mouse brain.
Chandelier neuron requires ‘Velcro-like’ molecule to form connections
March 4, 2019
How do brain cells network? Researchers have discovered an essential ingredient that facilitates one type of neuron’s many neighborly connections.
How does the brain encode stimuli from the outside world to give rise to perceptions? What does a smell look like in the brain? The focus of my group is to understand how neural circuits compute sensory-motor transformations across different contexts, senses, and brain states to generate meaningful behaviors.
During a conversation, our brain must interpret what we hear and control our vocal response. How does the brain transform these auditory sensations into action? My laboratory uses singing mice as a model system to investigate the neural circuits in the brain that underlie vocal communication in mammals.
Patients with cancer frequently experience debilitating symptoms that can impair quality of life and reduce odds of survival. These include drastic changes in appetite, sleep/wake cycles, cognitive function, and pain, among others. Our lab aims to uncover mechanistic interactions between the brain and cancer that drive these phenomena. Reciprocally, we investigate how manipulation of specific brain circuits influences cancer processes in the body.
The trillions of connections between brain cells enable complex thought and behavior. These connections are wired with great precision through both genetics and in response to an organism’s experiences. Our lab seeks to understand how experiences engage specialized immune cells called microglia to shape the connectivity and function of the brain. We are further interested in how impairments in these processes can contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism.
My lab investigates how perception and cognition arise from changes in neural activity. We develop and apply computational methods to discover dynamic patterns in large-scale neural activity recordings. We then create mathematical models to explain how these activity changes emerge from signaling between neurons, ultimately driving behavior.
The nervous system transmits information by passing chemical signals from one nerve cell to the others. This signal transmission relies on a variety of proteins to receive and transmit the chemical signals. My group studies the structure and function of neurotransmitter receptors and ion channels that regulate fundamental neuronal activities.
The brain-body interaction is a two-sided coin: The brain can control movement of the body to fulfill behaviors, and behavior itself can affect brain function. We study how the brain orchestrates motor and physiological control in natural and innate behaviors, focusing on facial expression.
The complexity of the mammalian brain challenges our ability to explain it. My group applies methods from mathematics and theoretical physics to understand the brain. We are generating novel ideas about neural computation and brain development, including how neurons process information, how brain networks assemble during development, and how brain architecture evolved to facilitate its function.
My group studies the neural circuits underlying cognitive function and dysfunction as they relate to anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and autism. We use sophisticated technologies to manipulate specific neural circuits in the rodent brain to determine their role in behavior. We are interested in changes in synaptic strength that may underlie mental disorders.
A theoretical physicist by training, my research is centered around intelligent machines. I do both theoretical and experimental work. The theoretical work is focussed on analyzing distributed/networked algorithms in the context of control theory and machine learning, using tools from statistical physics. My lab is involved in brain-wide mesoscale circuit mapping in the Mouse as well as in the Marmoset. An organizing idea behind my research is that there may be common underlying mathematical principles that constrain evolved biological systems and human-engineered systems.
Perception and comprehension of the outside world are rooted in our neocortex. How do neurons specialize during development to form complex and very specific circuits to integrating sensory-motor information in adults? My group is interested in the interplay between environmental cues and molecular programs in the assembly of neural circuits.
When confronted with another individual, social animals use multiple sensory inputs smells, sounds, sights, tastes, touches to choose an appropriate behavioral response. My group studies how specific brain circuits support these natural communication behaviors and how disruptions in these circuits can lead to inappropriate use of social information, as in Autism Spectrum Disorders.
My lab studies how estrogen and testosterone regulate gene expression in the brain. The receptors for these steroid hormones directly bind DNA to turn genes on or off. We have found that sex differences in gene expression are a dynamic readout of hormone actions across the lifespan. We aim to understand how these hormone-regulated genes contribute to sex-variable biology, behavior, and disease risk.
Normal cell function relies on coordinated communication between all the different parts of the cell. These communication signals control what a cell does, what shape it takes, and how it interacts with other cells. I study these signaling networks to understand how they guard against cancer and neurological disorders.
My lab studies how circuitry in the brain gives rise to complex behaviors, one of nature’s great mysteries. We study how the auditory cortex processes sound, and how this is interrupted in autism. We also seek to obtain a wiring diagram of the mouse brain at the resolution of individual neurons. Our unusual approach exploits cheap and rapid “next-gen” gene sequencing technology.