John Maunsell, PhD – Chicago

Professor, Department of Neurobiology
Director, Grossman Institute for Neuroscience, Quantitative Biology and Human Behavior

Maunsell's research is aimed at understanding how neuronal signals in visual cerebral cortex generate perceptions and guide behavior. Our approach is to record from individual neurons in trained, behaving monkeys and mice while they perform visual tasks. Another line of research has been exploring the more general question of how the activity of given neurons contributes to specific visual behaviors.

Neuroscience at University of Chicago

At The University of Chicago there are three closely interacting, interdepartmental graduate programs: the Graduate Programs in Neurobiology, Computational Neuroscience, and Integrative Neuroscience.

Some of the more significant neuroscience research centers include: the Center of Cognitive & Social Neuroscience; Center for Integrative Neuroscience and Neuroengineering; Brain Research Imaging Center; Center for Integrative Neuroscience and Neuroengineering; Center for Peripheral Neuropathy;  and the Grossman Institute for Neuroscience, Quantitative Biology and Human Behavior.

How zebrafish advance brain research

How are zebrafish advancing brain research?

Zebrafish brain research is helping to give scientists like Melina Hale a better understanding of how neural circuits and neurons are used in different behaviors.

The octopus’ nervous system

Why the octopus' nervous system makes it such a successful predator?

The nervous system of an octopus is a complex system, involving the invertebrate's eyes, brain and tentacles. Researcher Clifton Ragsdale is currently pioneering the use of modern molecular techniques to study how the octopus's unique nervous system processes visual information, and if its processing system significantly differs from those of vertebrates.

Evolving Brain: Mysteries of the Brain

Using amazing new technologies, evolutionary neuroscientist Melina Hale and her graduate students at the University of Chicago are discovering that the basic movements of one tiny fish can teach us big ideas about how the brain's circuitry works.

"Mysteries of the Brain" is produced by NBC Learn in partnership with the NSF.

NSF BRAIN Initiative
Published June 10, 2015

Grossman Institute – Chicago

Principal Investigator: John Maunsell
Neuroscience at University of Chicago

Grossman Institute for Neuroscience, Quantitative Biology and Human Behavior is a new Institute designed to establish a group of scholars working at the intersection of quantitative biology, neuroscience, and the study of social and individual behaviors. The Institute will build upon existing strengths in these fields to address fundamental questions about the biological, social, and environmental factors that shape social behaviors and inter-individual variation in model organisms and humans.

Taking genetics out of optogenetics

Light can be used to activate normal, non-genetically modified neurons through the use of targeted gold nanoparticles—a new technique that could hold promise for treating diseases such as macular degeneration.

“Many optogenetic experimental designs can now be applied to completely normal tissues or animals, greatly extending the scope of these research tools and possibly allowing for new therapies involving neuronal photostimulation.”

Neuron 2015.02.033

Patterned activity and codes for behavior

Principal Investigator: John Maunsell
Neuroscience at University of Chicago
Title: "The role of patterned activity in neuronal codes for behavior"
BRAIN Category: Understanding Neural Circuits (RFA NS-14-009)

Dr. Maunsell's team will explore how large populations of neurons process visual information, using a newly developed light stimulation technique to induce brain cell activity in the visual cortex of mice.

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