- To understand the fundamental computational principles that govern the nervous system, including its functions, organization, and its development.
- To disseminate computational and theoretical neuroscience at all levels in educational and public arenas locally in the southwest UK and further afield.
- To apply these principles to find novel solutions to problems in other disciplines, including medicine, biology, psychology, and engineering.
Understanding the structure, function and development of the human brain in health and disease is one of the greatest challenges in science for the 21st century. Our brains mediate our perceptions of the world around us, they generate the myriad thoughts, memories and emotions which make us uniquely human, and they control our behavioural responses to the world in which we live. Brains interact in complex ways to make societies.
Human brains can solve complex problems, such as face recognition, perception, cognition, complex motor behaviours, with ease but conventional computing systems cannot. An emerging view is that this ability is embedded in the neural architecture and its adaptive function. To build artificial systems with human-like levels of performance will require extracting nature’s computational principles and applying them in novel architectures.
The principle aim of the Centre for Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience is to carry out neuroscience research at the systems level in order to understand how networks and circuits of nerve cells in the brain combine and interact to enable information to be processed. To bridge the gap between nerve cell and behaviour can only be achieved by computational modelling and strong collaborations among neurobiologists, neuropsychologists, computer scientists and mathematicians.