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Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition

The CNBC is a joint venture of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. Our center leverages the strengths of the University of Pittsburgh in basic and clinical neuroscience and those of Carnegie Mellon in cognitive and computational neuroscience to support a coordinated cross-university research and educational program of international stature. In addition to our Ph.D. program in Neural Computation, we sponsor a graduate certificate program in cooperation with a wide variety of affiliated Ph.D. programs.

Within the CNBC, our over 200 world-class faculty and trainees are investigating the cognitive and neural mechanisms that give rise to biological intelligence and behavior. Research topics include affective, cognitive, linguistic, perceptual, motor and social systems in both normal and disordered populations, as well as computational neuroscience. The CNBC also promotes the translation of findings from basic research into applications for medicine, education, robotics and artificial intelligence.

A Face to Remember

feature1d.jpgOnce dominated by correlational studies, face-perception research is moving into the realm of experimentation—and gaining tremendous insight.

CNBC Co-Director Marlene Behrmann is quoted in The Scientist Magazine Novermber 2014 cover story.  “We meet thousands of individuals . . . and we can differentiate them, we can recognize them in different conditions: when there are shadows on them, when the face is turned at different angles, if they get a haircut.  It’s an incredibly robust human ability.” read more


CNBC Facuilty member Verstynen is co-author on an entertaining book which uses zombies to help illustrate human neuroscience

1414689758474.jpgTwo Neuroscience Professors, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Carnegie Mellon University Timothy Verstynen and Assistant Professor of Cognitive Science and Neuroscience at UC San Diego Bradley Voytek co-author book titled Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep?: A Neuroscientific View of the Zombie Brain. This book uses real science to explain science fiction - an entertaining way to teach science education at all ages.  For more details and a short animation lesson go to Princeton University Press. Here is a short news article entitled Why do zombies lumber: A neuroscientific explanation for why zombies have difficulty walking which uses passages from the book.


CNBC Faculty Tokowicz’s Monograph on Lexical Processing and Second Language Acquisition

Tokowicz_cover_-_plum_option.jpgNatascha Tokowicz has recently published a monograph, Lexical Processing and Second Language Acquisition. It provides a comprehensive overview of research on second language lexical processing, integrating converging research and perspectives from Cognitive Science and Second Language Acquisition. The book begins by introducing the dominant issues addressed by research in the field in cognitive science and discussing the relevant models in the literature. It later moves toward exploring the different factors that impact second language lexical processing as well as cognitive neuroscientific approaches to the study of the issues discussed throughout the book. A concluding chapter offers a global summary of the key issues and research strands, in addition to directions for future research, with a list of recommended readings providing students and researchers with avenues for further study.


PA Congressman Fattah Commemorates 20th Anniversary of Pittsburgh's Center for Neural Basis of Cognition

chaka_fattah.jpgCongressman Chaka Fattah (PA-02), architect of the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative, helped celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Center for Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC)—a joint venture between the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. Fattah, who has visited the Center as part of his nationwide efforts to make neuroscience research a national priority, delivered remarks via video to the audience of more than 250 neuroscientists, researchers, faculty, scholars, and CNBC personnel who gathered last week to commemorate the center’s two decades of research collaboration.


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Mark Roth To Receive First Friend of the CNBC Award

mark-roth_175x225.jpg.jpgRoth is being recognized for his cutting-edge journalism that brings current science and medical issues to the public's attention.The award coincides with the CNBC's 20th anniversary celebration.  More...