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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.

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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

An inside look: UC Berkeley’s Center for the Science of Psychedelics

An inside look: UC Berkeley’s Center for the Science of Psychedelics

Video of HWNI member Michael Silver giving a Science at Cal lecture about the BCSP.
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Food insecurity has lasting impacts on the brains and behavior of mice

Food insecurity has lasting impacts on the brains and behavior of mice

A collaboration between the labs of HWNI members Linda Wilbrecht, Helen Bateup, and Stephan Lammel.
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Postdoc Aaron Joiner selected as an HHMI Hanna Gray Fellow

Postdoc Aaron Joiner selected as an HHMI Hanna Gray Fellow

Congratulations to postdoc Aaron Joiner from the lab of HWNI member James Hurley!
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The moment scientific experts joined forces to ask the big questions

The moment scientific experts joined forces to ask the big questions

Read about our partnership with Roche, Genentech, and UCSF through the Weill Neurohub.
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Neuroscience simulations at NERSC shed light on origins of human brain recordings

Neuroscience simulations at NERSC shed light on origins of human brain recordings

Study led by HWNI member Kristofer Bouchard (pictured) and colleagues, including HWNI member Michel Maharbiz.
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Secret behind ‘nic-sickness’ could help break tobacco addiction

Secret behind ‘nic-sickness’ could help break tobacco addiction

Study led by Neuroscience PhD alum Christine Liu and PhD student Amanda Tose, Lammel lab.
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Yanabah Jaques selected as an HHMI Gilliam Fellow

Yanabah Jaques selected as an HHMI Gilliam Fellow

Congratulations to Neuroscience PhD student Yanabah Jaques!
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Groundbreaking collaborative research program will explore common characteristics of glaucoma, Alzheimer’s

Groundbreaking collaborative research program will explore common characteristics of glaucoma, Alzheimer’s

HWNI member Karthik Shekhar is one of four investigators collaborating on this new initiative.
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Recent Faculty Publications

26 May 2022
Front Physiol. 2021 Nov 5;12:752363. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2021.752363. eCollection 2021.ABSTRACTAdolescence is a period of continuous development, including the maturation of endogenous rhythms across systems and timescales. Although, these dynamic changes are...
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22 Apr 2022
Stat. 2022 Dec;11(1):e433. doi: 10.1002/sta4.433. Epub 2021 Oct 15.ABSTRACTMotivated by a multimodal neuroimaging study for Alzheimer's disease, in this article, we study the inference problem, i.e., hypothesis testing, of sequential...
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04 Mar 2022
Neurobiol Lang (Camb). 2021 Dec 23;2(4):605-627. doi: 10.1162/nol_a_00056. eCollection 2021.ABSTRACTBilinguals' need to suppress the activation of their other language while speaking has been proposed to result in enhanced cognitive control...
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23 Feb 2022
Curr Opin Behav Sci. 2021 Apr;38:66-73. doi: 10.1016/j.cobeha.2020.10.003. Epub 2020 Nov 14.ABSTRACTReinforcement learning (RL) models have advanced our understanding of how animals learn and make decisions, and how the brain...
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21 Feb 2022
Front Neural Circuits. 2022 Feb 4;15:815923. doi: 10.3389/fncir.2021.815923. eCollection 2021.ABSTRACTMüller glia of the retina share many features with astroglia located throughout the brain including maintenance of homeostasis, modulation of neurotransmitter...
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