Cellular and Molecular Foundations of Intelligent Behavior (CaMF)

Researchers in this area investigate the cellular and molecular origins of intelligent behavior and brain plasticity, in particular as they relate to processes underlying learning, development, aging, and disability.

Group Leader: Jonathan V. Sweedler

The goal of this work is to understand the neuronal basis of sensory processing, motor control, learning, memory, and problem solving. Topics include the synaptic regulatory mechanisms underlying neural plasticity; the distribution and release of neuropeptides within individual neurons and macromolecular interactions relevant to memory; and the dynamic coding and processing of information by neurons and neural circuits across species.

Researchers employ a variety of methodological approaches including techniques for simultaneous recording of multiple neuronal signals in both living systems and in tissue preparations; computer-based systems for the storage, analysis, and display of the vast amounts of data acquired with these techniques; and the application of conditional gene knock-out models to understand the neural mechanisms of sensory map formation and spatial learning.

Research Groups

Children's Environmental Health Research Center at Illinois

Led by Susan Schantz, the center researches the impact of bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, and other endocrine disruptors on child development.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program is part of a network of Children’s Health Centers around the country and also participates in the ECHO consortium, a national study of 50,000 children that will investigate environmental influences on child health outcomes.

Neurotechnology for Memory and Cognition

The theme addresses grand challenges in measuring the complex spatio-temporal processes in the brain by bringing physical and biological scientists together with bio-, mechanical, and electrical/computer engineers.