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Institute of Neuroscience, NYMU
About Us

Neuroscience research encompasses a diverse range of fields spanning from molecules to cognition. The goal of the Institute of Neuroscience at Yang-Ming University is to engage in research and to provide teaching to cultivate the next generation of talented neuroscientists. We aim to make the advances necessary to understand the human psychological condition, the neural basis of perception and behavior, and to contribute to the treatment of neurological diseases.

Modern neuroscience began in 1962 when Dr. Francis O. Schmitt proposed an interdisciplinary, inter-university organization, the Neuroscience Research Program, devoted to studying the structure and function of the nervous system. The program was based on the idea that no single discipline has sufficient technological or conceptual breadth to understand mental activity at its many levels of complexity. Instead, a cross-disciplinary approach is required making the most of the latest principles and methods within the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, mathematics, computer science, materials science, and mechanical and electrical engineering. This cross-disciplinary approach enables the understanding of how complex neural structures give rise to the information processing underlying cognition. Over the past four decades, neuroscience research has matured to become one of the great frontiers of science. In 1980, the National Yang Ming University Institute of Neuroscience was founded as the first center for neuroscience research in Taiwan. After nearly 40 years of development, this institute remains at the forefront of neuroscience research and teaching in Taiwan and is the most comprehensive neuroscience research center in Taiwan's higher education system. The scope of research and teaching spans from molecules to cognition, from the central nervous system to the periphery, tying basic science to medicine.

The institute is broadly divided into two groups. We aim to provide a firm scientific research foundation to train students to become leading neuroscientists. We accomplish this by: Providing our students a deep and comprehensive background in neuroscience, providing them a solid grasp of modern experimental techniques, and keeping them abreast of the current trends and ongoing developments in this field. Inspiring our students to think and work independently, to clearly articulate their thoughts, and to execute research in a professional manner. Cultivating curiosity in the nervous system and how it underlies human behavior. For research, at the molecular, cellular, systems, and cognitive neuroscience levels, we seek to further our understanding of the mind and to develop methods to treat, to prevent, and to correct or cure mental health.

Group A: Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience
1. We study molecular mechanisms of neural development, neural signaling and neural circuit plasticity.
2. We also use non-human primates as an animal model to study the neural circuitry, function, and coding underlying visual perception; and as a platform for development of a brain-machine interface
3. We create animal models for psychological diseases and study the behavioral origin of depression and aggression.
4. We study the molecular mechanisms underlying Alzheimer's disease and spino-cerebellar ataxia.
5. We also study neural protection of astrocytes and micro-glia cells and are developing methods for neural regeneration.

Group B: Cognitive Neuroscience
1. Aphasia, dyslexia, processing of Chinese language and reading.
2. Social neuroscience, empathy, autism.
3. Human decision making, neuroeconomics.
4. Application of diffusion MRI in aging, neuropsychiatric diseases.

Group C:Neural Technology

Applying advanced technologies such as molecular engineering, electronic information or/and optoelectronic imaging on to brain and neuroscience research and developing techniques of in vivo imaging and neural circuitry manipulation to clarify the physiological mechanisms of brain, and further improve the development and application of brain-inspired intelligence.