Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience (KISN)

Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience (KISN) is a leading research centre investigating the emergence of space, time and memory in the brain.

Organization of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience

The research centre is since 1996 led by Scientific Directors, Professors and Nobel Laureates May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser, and since 2018 Managing Director Doctor Kay Gastinger.

The institute is a Kavli Foundation Institute since 2007, a Centre of Excellence (CoE) since 2002, and a department at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) since 2017.

Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience (KISN) consists of the centres Centre for Neural Computation (CNC) and Egil and Pauline Braathen and Fred Kavli Centre for Cortical Microcircuits (BKC).

The staff is organized into eight work units: seven research labs with associated team of scientists, students and technicians under the leadership of eight principal investigators, as well as one support group of administration and technical staff.

The department is responsible for an international Master of Science in Neuroscience programme and is connected to the Ph.D. programme in Medicine.

The Institute's research focus

The normal human brain is made up of about 100 billion nerve cells (neurons). Each nerve cell can have an average of approximately 10-20,000 points of contact with other nerve cells. These contact points are called synapses, which is where the storage of memories takes place.

Researchers at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience explore the brain's functioning by detecting and analysing the electrical signals in the brain, primarily in the regions of the brain called the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus. The hippocamus is an older part of the cerebral cortex and has a central role in the functioning of human and animal memory, while the entorhinal cortex contains grid cells, border cells, direction cells, and speed cells that together give the brain the ability to make highly advanced maps.

Since the centre’s inception, Kavli researchers have used laboratory rats as study animals. In the experiments, rats run around in boxes and corridors chasing treats. Simultaneously, very thin electrodes inserted into their brains enable researchers to detect their brain activity. The electrodes, placed in the space between the brain cells, are so sensitive that they distinguish signals from individual neurons in the network. Today KISN research groups study higher brain functions in rats, mice, zebrafish and humans using experimental and theoretical approaches.

Research groups

Photo of May-Britt and Edvard Moser
Moser group:

Space and memory
Photo of Menno Witter
Witter group:

Functional neuranatomy
Photo of Clifford Kentros
Kentros group:

Transgenic investigation of neural circuits
Photo og Yasser Roudi
Roudi group:

SPINOr: Stat.Phys. of Inference and Network Organizaton
Photo of Jonathan Whitlock
Whitlock group:

Cognitive motor function
Photo of Yaksi Emre
Yaksi group:

Sensory computations
Photo of Christian Doeller
Doeller & Kaplan Group:

Translational neuroscience
 
Our mission:
To understand the emergence of higher brain functions

 

 

 

 

 

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Boards

Scientific Advisory Board

Photo of Crla Shatz

Carla Shatz
Chairman
Professor
Stanford University, USA

Photo of Erin Schuman

Erin Schuman
Professor
Max Planch Institute for Brain Research, Germany

Photo of Rainer Friedrich

Rainer Friedrich
Professor
Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Switzerland

Photo of Thomas Jessell
Thomas Jessell

Professor
Columbia University, USA

Photo of Tony Movshon

Tony Movshon
Professor
New York University, USA

Board of Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience

Photo of Kari Melby
Kari Melby

Chair
NTNU

Photo of Björn Gustafsson
Björn Gustafsson

Dean at Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, NTNU
Professor

Photo of Jan Morten Dyrstad
Jan Morten Dyrstad

Associate Professor, Department of Economics, NTNU

Photo of Stig Slørdahl
Stig Slørdahl

Managing Director, Hospital Trusts in Central Norway

Photo of Edvard Moser
Edvard Moser

Secretary, Professor KI/CNC, NTNU

Photo of May-Britt Moser
May-Britt Moser

Secretary, Professor KI/CNC, NTNU

Board of Centre for Neural Computation

Photo of Björn Gustafsson

Björn Gustafsson
Dean, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, NTNU
Professor

Photo of Tore O. Sandvik
Tore O. Sandvik

County Council Chair
Sør-Trøndelag County

Photo of Anne Borg
Anne Borg

Pro-Rector for Education, NTNU

Photo of Geir Egil Øien
Geir Egil Øien

Dean, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, NTNU

Photo of Nils Kvernmo
Nils Kvernmo

Managing Director, St. Olav's Hospital

Photo of May-Britt Moser
May-Britt Moser

Secretary, Professor, Kavli Institute, NTNU

Board of Braathen & Kavli Centre for Cortical Microcircuits