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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.   

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 six innovative neurotechnology and research centers, and train the next generation of neuroscientists through our support of the Neuroscience PhD Program.

Latest News

Why does COVID-19 make you sneeze?

Why does COVID-19 make you sneeze?

The Bautista lab has found that a viral protein actively stimulates neurons that trigger sneezing.
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For new professor, psychedelics and octopuses may hold keys to the human mind

For new professor, psychedelics and octopuses may hold keys to the human mind

Gül Dölen is known for her research on how psychedelics affect "critical periods" and learning.
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Are stressed-out brain cells the root cause of neurodegenerative disease?

Are stressed-out brain cells the root cause of neurodegenerative disease?

Rapé lab research suggests that constant stress triggered by clumping proteins is killing brain cells.
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Department of Neuroscience to launch at UC Berkeley

Department of Neuroscience to launch at UC Berkeley

HWNI member and inaugural Neuroscience Department chair Dan Feldman discusses the exciting new department!
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Bob Knight receives 2024 American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions

Bob Knight receives 2024 American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions

Congratulations to HWNI member Robert Knight!
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World-renowned neuroscientist doctor Gül Dölen to join UC Berkeley faculty

World-renowned neuroscientist doctor Gül Dölen to join UC Berkeley faculty

Dölen will join HWNI, Psychology, and the UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics.
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Cell types in the eye have ancient evolutionary origins

Cell types in the eye have ancient evolutionary origins

The Shekhar lab and collaborators found that retinal cell types are remarkably conserved across vertebrates.
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Berkeley Neuroscience PhD alum Emily Jacobs leads new initiative to advance study of women’s brain health

Berkeley Neuroscience PhD alum Emily Jacobs leads new initiative to advance study of women’s brain health

Jacobs directs UC’s Bowers Women’s Brain Health Initiative, which she wrote about in Nature.
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Recent Faculty Publications

09 Jul 2024
Nat Commun. 2024 Jul 9;15(1):5531. doi: 10.1038/s41467-024-49073-8.ABSTRACTIn everyday life, people need to respond appropriately to many types of emotional stimuli. Here, we investigate whether human occipital-temporal cortex (OTC) shows co-representation...
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09 Jul 2024
Elife. 2024 Jul 9;13:RP96386. doi: 10.7554/eLife.96386.ABSTRACTFunctional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have documented cerebellar activity across a wide array of tasks. However, the functional contribution of the cerebellum within these...
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08 Jul 2024
PLoS Biol. 2024 Jul 8;22(7):e3002684. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3002684. eCollection 2024 Jul.ABSTRACTIn the past 20 years, more remarkable revelations about sleep and its varied functions have arguably been made than in the...
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06 Jul 2024
Dev Cell. 2024 Jul 2:S1534-5807(24)00382-4. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2024.06.005. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTRough endoplasmic reticulum (ER) sheets are a fundamental domain of the ER and the gateway into the secretory pathway. Although...
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05 Jul 2024
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2024 Jul 9;121(28):e2401579121. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2401579121. Epub 2024 Jul 5.ABSTRACTIron is an essential element for life owing to its ability to participate in a...
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