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The Swartz Center

The Swartz Foundation has sponsored a Center that will foster collaborative research and inter-disciplinary training in Computational and Systems Neuroscience at Yale. This Center was founded and directed by Xiao-Jing Wang from 2006 - 2012.

Recent years have seen great strides in our understanding of sensory processing and plasticity at the cellular and molecular levels. A major challenge today is to firmly establish general principles as well as detailed neural mechanisms of basic cognitive functions. Our work aims at making progress in this direction, with a focus on the network properties of the neocortex.

Theory, computational modeling, and system neuroscience play a critical role in this enterprise, especially in studies of strongly recurrent cortical circuits which we believe hold the key to understanding the chain of causal links from molecules to complex and flexible behaviors. Topics of active research represented in this Program include self-sustained neural activity patterns and working memory, decision making, reinforcement learning, timing, variability and synchrony of neural activity, visual attention in naturalistic environment.

Core Labs

The core of faculty consists of several labs that share a common goal of elucidating cellular mechanisms and neural dynamics that underlie higher brain functions, such as working memory, decision making, selective attention. We are joined by other neuroscientists at Yale with a computational component in their research programs, including Amy Arnsten, Marvin Chun, Todd Constable, Thierry Emonet, and Gordon Shepherd.