The Center for Neural Circuits and Behavior (CNCB) brings together a group of leading neuroscientists from UCSD, the Salk Institute, and The Scripps Research Institute who are at the forefront of efforts to understand the development and organization of neural circuits and how they mediate behavior. The Center provides an environment where discoveries at the molecular level can be seamlessly integrated with advances in cognitive sciences and clinical treatments. This initiative is enriched by the outstanding neuroscience community in San Diego and the UC San Diego Neurosciences graduate program, consistently rated one of the top programs in the country. The Center promotes interaction, collaboration, and opportunities for reaping significant benefits of interdisciplinary efforts.
CNCB investigators are developing and implementing molecular, genetic, opto-genetic, and imaging tools to study the organization and function of the nervous system. For example, new imaging technologies (from single molecules to the whole brain) and the power of genetics are being used to reveal the mechanisms of brain function and dysfunction. Trans-neuronal viral tracing and electron microscopic reconstruction are being used to define the connectivity of the nervous system. Directed expression of light- and ligand-activated channels is being used to facilitate the functional analysis of neural circuits and how they mediate behavior.
Modern neuroscience is fast becoming an interdisciplinary field at the nexus of biology and medicine. At the forefront of this field, UCSD is poised to take a leading role in exploring the biology of neural circuits to define the elements and processes essential to normal brain function and to elucidate the changes that characterize neurological disorders.