Picower Institute for Learning and Memory

The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory is an interdisciplinary research entity within MIT's School of Science, with 14 faculty members holding academic appointments in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, the Department of Biology, the Institute for Medical Engineering & Science, and the Department of Chemical Engineering.

The Picower Institute is a community of scientists dedicated to understanding the mechanisms that drive learning and memory and related functions such as cognition, emotion, perception, and consciousness. Institute researchers explore the brain at multiple scales, from genes and molecules, to cells and synapses, to circuits and systems, producing novel insights into how disruptions in these mechanisms can lead to developmental, psychiatric, or neurodegenerative disease. The institute offers exciting research opportunities from undergraduate to postdoctoral levels.

Picower Institute investigators explore:

  • The genetic, molecular, cellular, circuit and systems means by which memory is formed, stored and recalled
  • How sleep and dreams affect memory
  • How neurons form synaptic connections and how those connections transmit information and change with experience
  • How different brain regions communicate in decision making, working memory and assigning feelings to memories
  • The intricacies underlying the executive functions of the cerebral cortex

The institute's highly collaborative, cross-disciplinary strategy spawns exciting joint projects among its various laboratories. Many Picower faculty also are inventors of unique technologies and techniques that are redefining the practice of neuroscience.

Key Picower Institute discoveries are shedding light on disorders ranging from Down syndrome and autism to Alzheimer's, Huntington's and Parkinson's diseases, schizophrenia, depression and addiction.

For further information, contact the director, Professor Li-Huei Tsai, Room 46-4235A, 617-324-1660.