The brain, the most complex electrochemical machine in the universe, operates at scales that range from mental processes through brain areas and circuits down to the level of membranes and molecules. It allows us to learn and creates our cognitive abilities, our emotions and our behaviour. It determines who we are, what we do and what we feel. Even though great progress has been made over the last decades, the relationship between the physical brain and our mind remains to be unraveled.
Our research aims to understand mental functions and their underlying neural basis. AMBition works with five research themes, each investigated across levels ranging from molecule to society or from lab to life, using diverse research approaches and studying brain and behavior in health and disease (here in alphabetical order):
A - Deciding and controlling: reasoning, decision making, and executive
Research groups that study the
human rationale, how we come to decisions, and how we execute our intentions.
B - Feeling and
coping: affective regulation,
motivation, and stress
Research groups that study what
drives us, how emotions influence our behavior and affect our mental
C - Learning and
remembering: development, learning, and
Research groups that study how the brain develops, adapts to new information, and stores and recalls memories.
D - Perceiving and acting: attention, perception, and action
Research groups that study how we
perceive and become aware of the world around us and act upon it.
E - Thinking and
interacting: higher cognitive functions,
social behavior, and language
Research groups that study our higher cognitive functions and our ability to talk and interact with others.
In line with the idea of translational neuroscience, most themes range from studies at the level of synapses and cellular and molecular interactions in the brain all the way up to cognitive impairment, dys-executive symptoms, occurring in most neurodegenerative diseases and in many other other neurological, psychiatric and systemic illnesses.