The Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC) is a joint venture of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University that leverages the strengths of the University of Pittsburgh in basic and clinical neuroscience and those of Carnegie Mellon in cognitive and computational neuroscience. Funding for the CNBC comes from CMU’s Neuroscience Institute and from the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Research at Pitt. The center supports a coordinated cross-university research and educational program of international stature, formalized in a graduate certificate program that enriches training for students in a wide variety of affiliated Ph.D. programs.


We are the world’s most exciting and neighborly playground for pioneering research and training in the neural basis of cognition.


Advance world-class, highly integrative research on the neural basis of cognition.

  • Be the magnet for the recruitment and retention of outstanding faculty and exceptional trainees who collectively bring diversity, breadth, depth, and balance to a portfolio of research that will reveal the mechanisms of the mind.
  • Provide stellar role models and mentors for interdisciplinary curiosity, collaboration, and scientific rigor.
  • Stimulate research innovation by supporting high-risk and/or collaborative projects that bring together faculty and trainees.

Train the next generation of leaders who can skillfully integrate brain and behavior.

  • Develop researchers who can skillfully connect across traditional fields by providing formal and informal learning opportunities within an inclusive environment.
  • Sustain a portfolio of well-led training grants that collectively involve a mix of faculty and provide trainees with a broad set of opportunities for collaborative and interdisciplinary research.
  • Catalyze training and mentoring innovations that represent evidence-based best practices, including those that promote equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.

Energize the community with a palpable camaraderie, collaborative spirit, and shared vision of something larger than its separate parts.

  • Inspire members to take their research in directions they might otherwise not have discovered or pursued and support this work to success.
  • Host scholars, entrepreneurs, and other experts to keep the community on the leading edge of ideas and methods.
  • Recognize and engage members at all levels to actively contribute to creating a vibrant intellectual community that respects, values, and serves them well.

Extend our community outward through synergistic partnerships that realize the benefits of CMU-Pitt institutional cooperation.

  • Connect our members with larger team-based science initiatives and shared facilities to creatively leverage institutional and external resources that advance brain and behavior research and its applications.
  • Disseminate our training and mentoring innovations and cultivate scholarly externships with academic and industry partners.
  • Share our research and perspectives with institutional, community, and regional partners by providing expertise and support for initiatives that align with our mission.


Curiosity: We stretch beyond traditional boundaries, engage with creative ideas, innovate new methods, and share personal perspectives in our quest to understand the neural basis of cognition.

Impact: We produce deep and sustained scholarship that is at the forefront of scientific discovery, yields knowledge that benefits society, and models best–practices in education and mentorship.

Collaboration: We hold that by joining forces across intellectual disciplines, departments, and institutions we can advance our science and training far beyond what can be accomplished individually.

Diversity: We believe that diversity—in thought and identity—drives innovation. We recognize, respect, and value the educational and research backgrounds embodied in our community and the cultural backgrounds and social identities that shape our motivations, communication styles, and ideas as scientists.

Inclusive Excellence: We strive to identify, understand, and respect the needs of all members with training and support that promotes scientific, professional, and personal growth and success at all career stages.

Community: We cultivate a collective sense of belonging to forge lasting scholarly partnerships and professional networks that fuel innovative science across our diverse membership.

Integrity: We adhere to the highest standards of open and ethical behavior and conduct, personally and professionally, in our commitment to the mission and vision of the CNBC.

About CNBC