The International Brain Laboratory: brain-wide circuits for decision-making

Understanding how the brain works is one of science’s greatest challenges. The key obstacle when attacking this challenge is that we do not understand how neural systems work together to support adaptive behavior. Adaptive behavior requires processing sensory information with focused attention, reaching decisions, acting, and learning from the results of those actions. These require the brain to combine a vast array of information from prior experience, current sensory stimuli, and internal and environmental contexts. These computations involve dynamic interactions between millions of neurons within local circuits and across many brain regions. Understanding these processes is a problem with a scale and complexity that far exceed what can be tackled by any single laboratory and that demands computational theory to be interwoven with experimental design and analysis in a manner not yet achieved. To overcome these challenges, a virtual laboratory has been created, unifying a group of 21 highly experienced neuroscience groups distributed across the world.

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