Learning & Memory

Newborn Brain Cells Required for Memory

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

Granule cells of the mouse dentate gyrus. Newborn cells are labeled in red, shown here integrating into mature granule cells' existing cellular circuitry. (Credit: Nathan Danielson/Losonczy Lab/Columbia's Zuckerman Institute/CUMC).

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, and Kavli Prize-winner Thomas M. Jessell, PhD, 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.

People

Learning from Experience

Associate 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 Resources: The tools, facilities and people that make our research possible.

Public Programs

BRAINYAC

Connecting high school students with scientists for intensive summer lab internships

2016 BRAINYAC students show off their posters after presenting their research to the Columbia community (Credit: Devin Powell/Columbia's Zuckerman Institute).

ZUCKERMAN IN THE NEWS

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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).

People

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.