The Helen Wills
Neuroscience Institute

Deepening our understanding of the brain and the rest of the nervous system through original research and neurotechnology innovation, and training the next generation of neuroscientists.

The Helen Wills
Neuroscience Institute

Deepening our understanding of the brain and the rest of the nervous system through original research and neurotechnology innovation, and training the next generation of neuroscientists.

An image of dendritic spines on neurons in the mouse cortex, produced using new microscopy technology developed by HWNI member Eric Betzig.   

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Neuroscience

The Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute (HWNI) is the nexus for campus-wide multidisciplinary neuroscience research at UC Berkeley. Our community includes over 70 faculty members in 12 academic departments. This unique cross-departmental structure brings together experts from a variety of fields to use the power of interdisciplinary research to achieve breakthroughs in the study of the brain and nervous system, and to drive the development of novel treatments and technologies. 

We support our faculty and their labs in their individual research aims, and foster opportunities for collaboration. We also sponsor major research initiatives, run five innovative neurotechnology and research centers, and train the next generation of neuroscientists through our Neuroscience PhD Program and the training of postdoctoral fellows who conduct research in HWNI faculty labs. We also have over 100 PhD Program alumni who work in a variety of careers across the globe.

Latest News

Pig brain cells may have cured a sea lion’s epilepsy—are humans next?

Pig brain cells may have cured a sea lion’s epilepsy—are humans next?

The experimental procedure was led by HWNI member Scott Baraban. (Photo by Dianne Cameron)
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Like our social media feeds, our brains take a little while to update

Like our social media feeds, our brains take a little while to update

Study from the Whitney lab has uncovered a lag in our perception of visual stimuli.
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Adesnik, Fisher, and Landry named Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigators

Adesnik, Fisher, and Landry named Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigators

Congratulations to HWNI members Hillel Adesnik, Yvette Fisher, and Markita Landry!
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Anxiety and PTSD linked to increased myelin in brain

Anxiety and PTSD linked to increased myelin in brain

Neuroscience PhD alum Kimberly Long is first author on the study from the Kaufer lab.
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Welcome to our new Berkeley Neuroscience Manager Kailyss Freeman!

Welcome to our new Berkeley Neuroscience Manager Kailyss Freeman!

Learn more about Kailyss Freeman in a message from HWNI Executive Director Barbara Peterson.
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Stephan Lammel wins award from McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience

Stephan Lammel wins award from McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience

Congratulations to HWNI member Stephan Lammel for winning a 2022 Neurobiology of Brain Disorders Award!
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David Schaffer elected to National Academy of Inventors

David Schaffer elected to National Academy of Inventors

Congratulations to HWNI faculty member David Schaffer!
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New Kavli Center at UC Berkeley to foster ethics, engagement in science

New Kavli Center at UC Berkeley to foster ethics, engagement in science

HWNI member Jack Gallant is one of the leaders of the new center.
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Recent Faculty Publications

07 Sep 2021
Front Hum Neurosci. 2021 Aug 18;15:702520. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2021.702520. eCollection 2021.ABSTRACTThe human brain has the astonishing capacity of integrating streams of sensory information from the environment and forming predictions about future...
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06 Sep 2021
Neuroimage. 2021 Sep 3:118553. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118553. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTTau PET has allowed for critical insights into in vivo patterns of tau accumulation and change in individuals early in the...
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06 Sep 2021
Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2021 May 29;22:40-51. doi: 10.1016/j.omtm.2021.05.009. eCollection 2021 Sep 10.ABSTRACTNeuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) is a family of neurodegenerative diseases caused by mutations to genes related to...
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02 Sep 2021
Psychol Sci. 2021 Sep 2:9567976211004547. doi: 10.1177/09567976211004547. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTPeople's perceptual reports are biased toward percepts they are motivated to see. The arousal system coordinates the body's response to...
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01 Sep 2021
Alzheimers Dement (Amst). 2021 Aug 24;13(1):e12230. doi: 10.1002/dad2.12230. eCollection 2021.ABSTRACTINTRODUCTION: Head injuries (HI) are a risk factor for dementia, but the underlying etiology is not fully known. Understanding whether tau...
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