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Announcing the Allen Institute for Neural Dynamics, a New Neuroscience Division of the Allen Institute

By November 5, 2021No Comments

The Allen Institute today announced the launch of the Allen Institute for Neural Dynamics, a new neuroscience research division focused on the mammalian brain’s computations that give rise to complex behaviors like decision making, learning and memory.
Scientists in the new division will explore the brain’s neural circuits and electrical activity, at the level of individual neurons and the whole brain, to reveal how we interpret our environments to make decisions. The division’s experiments and openly shared resources will shed light on behavior, memory, how we handle uncertainty or risk, how we chase rewards — and how some or all these complex cognitive functions go awry in neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression, ADHD or addiction.

The Allen Institute for Neural Dynamics becomes the Allen Institute’s fifth division, joining the Allen Institute for Brain Science, the Allen Institute for Cell Science, the Allen Institute for Immunology and The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group. The new division will collaborate with and build off foundational work carried out by the Allen Institute’s other neuroscience research groups, the Allen Institute for Brain Science and the MindScope Program.

Renowned neuroscientist Karel Svoboda, Ph.D., will lead the new division as its Vice President and Executive Director. Svoboda joins the Allen Institute from his previous position for 15 years as a senior group leader at The Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus, where his lab studied synaptic plasticity and developed new neurotechnologies. He has also served as a member of the Allen Institute for Brain Science’s scientific advisory councils for more than a decade.
“Over the past several decades, we’ve learned that the mechanisms that allow our brains to deal with uncertain situations involve many brain regions, often distributed across the entire brain,” Svoboda said. “The Allen Institute for Neural Dynamics will focus on understanding how the brain, as a whole, solves problems to drive our behavior and ultimately to enable our survival in complex and ever-changing environments.”