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

With a $106 million gift from the Weill Family Foundation, UC Berkeley (Berkeley), UC San Francisco (UCSF) and the University of Washington (the UW) have launched the Weill Neurohub, an innovative research network that will forge and nurture new collaborations between neuroscientists and researchers working in an array of other disciplines—including engineering, computer science, physics, chemistry, and mathematics—to speed the development of new therapies for diseases and disorders that affect the brain and nervous system.

Featured Breakthrough

Restoring Vision

Photoswitches, synthesized light-sensitive chemicals and proteins that turn cell activity on or off when exposed to light, were developed at Berkeley. This research tool holds clinical promise for treating retinal blindness by returning light sensitivity to damaged eyes.

Featured Scholar

Jack Gallant

Jack Gallant uses functional MRI and computational modeling to create anatomical and functional maps of the human brain, revealing the substrate on which all cognitive functions are built. This reverse engineering approach produces maps of unprecedented detail and fidelity that can be used to decode brain activity under naturalistic conditions, such as reconstructing previously seen images or recovering internal speech. 

We invite you to connect with the Berkeley Brain Initiative.

News

With a $106 million gift from the Weill Family Foundation, UC Berkeley (Berkeley), UC San Francisco (UCSF) and the University of Washington (the UW) have launched the Weill Neurohub, an innovative research network that will forge and nurture new collaborations between neuroscientists and researchers working in an array of other disciplines—including engineering, computer science, physics, chemistry, and mathematics—to speed the development of new therapies for diseases and disorders that affect the brain and nervous system.

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.