Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour (CNCB)
The Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour (CNCB) is an autonomous research centre embedded in the stimulating world of the University of Oxford. It is supported by a Strategic Award from the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Charitable Foundation. Its aim is to understand how intelligence emerges from the physical interaction of nerve cells. This is addressed by studying the brain from the top down rather than from the bottom up: from behaviour to cellular and molecular mechanisms. Much of their research is done in fruit flies, where physical events in nerve cells can be linked to higher brain function more easily than in other animals, in which either the behaviour is too simple or the brain structures are too complex.
They aim to identify within the great complexity of the brain elemental circuits that perform fundamental operations. CNCB challenges these circuits in behavioural tests, delineate their wiring diagrams, and dissect how they work. To do so, they push technological boundaries. Centre scientists have pioneered the development of optogenetics and advanced optical imaging and behavioural automation.