The Kavli Foundation of Oxnard, Calif., has endowed the Kavli Institute for Neuroscience at Yale University to pursue multidisciplinary studies of the cerebral cortex. Pasko Rakic, M.D., Ph.D., the Dorys McConnell Duberg Professor of Neuroscience and professor and chair of neurobiology, will direct the new institute.
“The cerebral cortex is universally recognized as the instrument of human intelligence,” Rakic said. “The goal of the institute is to understand how arrangement of the nerve cells and their synaptic circuits in the cortex embody knowledge of the outside world. We will study how molecular changes in these circuits imprint learning of something new and retain what we already know. We will also explore how our genome constructs the microarchitecture of the cerebral cortex, which is able to carry out high cognitive functions such as language and thought.”