Research at GIMBC

Our research here at GIMBC is dedicated to advancing our understanding of the mind, brain, and consciousness. Our multidisciplinary team of scientists and scholars bring together expertise from fields such as neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, biology, and artificial intelligence to tackle some of the most challenging and exciting questions about the nature of (human) consciousness.

Human consciousness

 One of our core themes of research is Disorders of Consciousness (DoC). Tens of thousands of patients who suffer from DoC have been mistakenly assumed to lack conscious experience and self-awareness, but recent studies have confirmed that 20% of these patients are actually covertly conscious. Our team is dedicated to understanding the underlying mechanisms of DoC and using this knowledge to improve the identification, prediction, and treatment of these conditions. With the recent progress made in the neuroscientific study of consciousness and the increasing availability of neuroimaging techniques, we are working to bridge the gap between novel, basic science investigations and clinical applications to provide better care for DoC patients.

Mood, in humans and animals

Another interdisciplinary core theme of research at GIMBC is the study of mood and its underlying mechanism. Despite the lack of a formal definition, we aim to find a unified scheme for quantifying mood in animal models using behavioral tests such as the open field test, tail suspension test, and choice tests. Our team is using an emerging concept of “behavioral entropy” as a consistent and universal measure of mood that takes into account the circadian fluctuations of dopamine levels and behavior. This research has the potential to not only advance our understanding of mood in both animal models and humans, but also open up new possibilities for clinical diagnosis and fundamental conceptual advances in mood studies in generalized systems. The integration of entropy into reinforcement learning theories for maximum cumulative reward decision-making can also provide new insights into the neural networks underlying motivation.