The human brain is a network of 1011 neurons with 1015 connections, making it the most complex system in the universe. Systems/cognitive neuroscience is the study of how information processing in this vast neural network gives rise to perception, memory, abstract thought, complex behavior, and consciousness itself. Referred to as “the mind/body problem,” this question has been debated by philosophers for millennia.  It is now accessible to empirical inquiry and represents one of the great remaining scientific frontiers.

Johns Hopkins has an unusual concentration of systems/cognitive laboratories, with a focus on quantitative, network-level understanding of cognitive information processing. Experimental tools include neurophysiology, brain imaging, and psychophysics. Analytical approaches involve systems identification, dimensionality reduction, information theory, and network modeling.

Major areas of interest include the neural mechanisms of perception and understanding of two- and three-dimensional objects; attention; memory formation; spatial cognition; decision-making; and executive control of behavior.


Ed Connor
Shape Processing in Higher Level Visual Cortex

Christopher Fetsch
Neurobiology of Perceptual Decision Making and Multisensory Integration

Stewart Hendry
Functional Organization of the Primate Visual System

Alfredo Kirkwood
Mechanisms of Cortical Modification

James Knierim
Behavioral Neurophysiology of the Hippocampal Formation

Hey-Kyoung Lee
Cellular/Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptic Plasticity Underlying Memory Formation

Ernst Niebur
Computational Neuroscience

Kristina Nielsen
Function and development of higher level visual cortex

Daniel O’Connor
Neural circuits for active touch

Veit Stuphorn
Neurophysiological Mechanisms of Decision Making and Self-Control

Rudiger von der Heydt
Neural Mechanisms of Visual Perception