The mission the Brain Mind Institute (BMI) within the School of Life Sciences at EPFL is to understand the fundamental principles of brain function in health and disease, by using and developing unique experimental, theoretical, technological and computational approaches.
The scientific challenge addressed by the BMI consists of connecting different levels of analysis of brain activity, such that cognitive functions can be understood as a manifestation of specific brain processes; specific brain processes as emerging from the collective activity of thousands of cells and synapses; synaptic and neuronal activity in turn as emerging properties of the biophysical and molecular mechanisms of cellular compartments. Understanding information processing in the brain and its higher emerging properties is arguably one of the major challenges in the life sciences.
Research at the BMI focuses on three main areas:► Molecular neurobiology and mechanisms of brain function and dysfunction, with a particular focus on neurodegeneration and stress-related psychopathologies.► Molecular and cellular mechanisms of synapse and microcircuit function up to the behavioral level and including metabolic aspects.► Sensory and body perception and cognition in humans.► Designing innovative interventions to restore sensorimotor functions after neural disorders.
Another goal of the Institute is to bridge scientific approaches and questions with research carried out in the EPFL campus, as well as with clinical and industrial partners in the Lake Geneva area and beyond.