Brain & Cognitive Sciences

Brain & Cognitive Sciences

The Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences leads the search to understand the most complex, sophisticated, and powerful information-processing device known: the human brain. In the study of the human brain, the painstaking pace of scientific progress have given way to an exhilarating era of promise, progress, and speed.  Powerful new tools and insights, many developed here at MIT, are creating a moment of extraordinary opportunity, and irresistible chance to unravel persistent puzzles of the brain and mind.

Scientists in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences ask fundamental questions about the biology of the brain and the processes of cognition and perception that make up the human mind.  Because the mind and brain are so complex, BCS researchers work at every level of inquiry, from the complex molecular machinery of individual neurons and the intricate connections formed between them to the study of sensory and perceptual systems and cognitive processes.    In answering basic questions about the development and organization of the brain and its daily feats of vision, speech, movement, and memory, BCS scientists’ work has profound practical implications as well, ranging from creating new frameworks for creating new frameworks for treating disorders like Alzheimer’s, autism, and schizophrenia to advancing new theories and technologies in the fields of artificial intelligence and human-machine interaction. 

IN THE NEWS

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), Pawan Sinha
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow, Mark Bear
  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences Member, Robert Desimone