Learning & Memory

Pinpointing the Cells That Control the Brain’s Memory Flow

From the lab of Attila Losonczy, MD, PhD, Columbia's Zuckerman Institute

Image of the mouse hippocampus. VIP interneurons are labeled red while other neurons innervating VIP cells are labeled green (Credit: Losonczy lab/Columbia's Zuckerman Institute).

A Mind to Discover

At Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute, we believe that understanding how the brain works — and gives rise to mind and behavior — is the most urgent and exciting challenge of our time. Led by Nobel laureates Eric Kandel, MD, and Richard Axel, MD, we study critical aspects of the mind and brain, gaining insights that promise to benefit people and societies everywhere.

Our Science: We explore how the brain develops, performs, endures and recovers.


Learning from Experience

Professor Daphna Shohamy, PhD, studies learning and memory — both how we memorize facts and how we slowly learn habits. She has discovered that there’s a lot more “cross-talk” between these two forms of learning than previously thought, raising questions about what different parts of the brain are doing as we learn, and how what we learn affects the decisions we make.

Scientific Platforms: The tools, facilities and people that make our research possible.

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May 6 2019 4:00 pm

Mind Brain Behavior Symposium

Celebrating the brightest ideas in neuroscience

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Public Programs


Connecting high school students with scientists for intensive summer lab internships

A 2018 BRAINYAC student and his mentor (Credit: Michael DiVito/Columbia University)


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Columbia Neuroscience Seminar Series

Sparking the conversations that drive science forward

Elaine Hsiao, PhD, Assistant Professor of Integrative Biology & Physiology at UCLA, speaks a recent seminar (Credit: Sirin Samman for Columbia's Zuckerman Institute)

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Our Mission

At Columbia's Zuckerman Institute, our mission is to decipher the brain. From effective treatments for disorders like Alzheimer’s and autism to advances in fields as fundamental as economics, the arts, and law, the potential for humanity is staggering.

Jerome L. Greene Science Center (Credit: Frank Oudeman/Columbia University).


Peeling Back the Brain's Layers

Associate Professor Randy Bruno recently discovered that the upper and lower regions of the cerebral cortex (the part of the brain that controls higher brain functions) work independently — despite the fact that they are tightly interconnected. He is now leading efforts to identify the behavioral roles each distinct region plays both in health and in disease.