Connecting the Brain and the Mind

The human brain has the power to imagine and create. It can fuel astonishing achievements or fail from devastating ailments. So much is at stake in discovering how this unique organ lets us experience the world. Leveraging UC Berkeley’s world-leading research excellence across all relevant disciplines, the Berkeley Brain Initiative convenes exceptional minds to spark breakthrough knowledge and to spawn transformative technologies. Our ultimate goal: to unlock the secrets of how the human brain gives rise to the mind.

Breaking News

Dyslexia, one of America’s most common learning challenges, is often referred to as an invisible disability, due in no small part to the stigma of struggling with reading and writing in competitive school environments. For full story click here.

Featured Breakthrough

Brain Plasticity throughout a Lifetime

Mu-ming Poo’s pioneering discoveries about neural circuitry provide crucial clues for understanding memory, awareness, and learning. He has shown how neurons in the developing brain find each other to form synapses. Poo also demonstrated the brain’s inherent plasticity: we continue to generate neurons beyond childhood into old age. 

Featured Scholar

Eric Betzig

Eric Betzig develops new imaging tools at the intersection of the physical and biological sciences. Betzig shared the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for super-resolution fluorescence microscopy, which peers inside cells to track individual molecules or create detailed images of subcellular structure. He also designed the lattice light-sheet microscope, which images the dynamics of living cells in 3D at high speed. He’s working to extend these technologies by combining them with adaptive optics. 

We invite you to connect with the Berkeley Brain Initiative.

News

Dyslexia, one of America’s most common learning challenges, is often referred to as an invisible disability, due in no small part to the stigma of struggling with reading and writing in competitive school environments. For full story click here.

UC Berkeley is partnering with the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle on a five-year effort to count, catalog and connect the many different cell types in the mouse brain, as a foundation for doing the same for the human brain. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Allen Institute-led consortium represents an international team of scientists that will construct a comprehensive whole-brain atlas of cell types, essentially a parts list of the mouse brain.

Minds Wide Open just won two 2019 New York Festivals TV & Film Awards Gold World Medals – one in the Science & Technology Documentary category and the other for best Branded Documentary Production. The film also won a Bronze World Medal in the Feature Documentary Film category at this year’s festival.  The film features some of the world’s most innovative scientists and doctors from UC Berkeley, Caltech, Harvard, Fudan University-affiliated Huashan Hospital, Oxford (Jesus College) and Stanford. These experts present compelling advances in brain research, psychiatry, biology, robotics and artificial intelligence – and demonstrate how they can help people whose lives are affected by brain disease and disorders.

As part of their billion-dollar commitment to brain science, the Chens plan to create new cornerstone partnerships with international institutions and programs that will support scientists working on the brain and mind. They will create other films to highlight advances in the science, the challenges faced by scientists and opportunities they see for making progress in the quest to unlock the mysteries of the human mind.  “We commissioned Minds Wide Open as a way of advocating for the scientific community,” commented Chrissy Luo, TCC Co-Founder. “Our hope is that scientists and researchers can use the film to make the case for supporting early-career scientists and for taking an interdisciplinary approach to studying the human brain.”

A free, 26-minute version is on YouTube here: http://bit.ly/mindswide