Based on the Dutch National Research Agenda it is evident that there is a strong interest in questions related to our brain and psyche. What is the relationship between these two? How is the brain able to produce consciousness? What mechanisms do we have in our heads that enable us to perceive, to remember things, to filter information, to speak and to think – and to be happy? How does the brain develop from a lump of cells in the embryo to the most complex organ we know?
NeuroLabNL is characterized by an approach that combines different disciplines. Brain processes take place at the level of genes, cells, brain networks, larger systems, behavior and man as a whole. To understand the causes of changing behavior, it is necessary to go through this chain of space-time scales. Inspired by the Dutch National Research Agenda, we focus on the following topics.
- We need to investigate fundamental questions in order to better understand who we are and how our brain adapts to rapidly changing information flows. Via this research we arrive at innovative applications in health care, in mitigating the effects of aging, in education and in the ability of citizens to deal with digitization, globalization and unsafe situations.
- Basic knowledge about brain processes also leads to new insights into the development of intelligence and technology. Research into ‘biological intelligence’ complements artificial intelligence: the functioning of the brain has arisen from an evolution that has lasted hundreds of millions of years – an evolution that has made the brain very energy efficient. Fundamental biological research is therefore essential in the development of new technology, which, for example, can lead to improved care robots and replacement of failed parts of our nervous system with smart equipment.
Look here for an extensive agenda of research in the field of Fundamental research.