Campus point. Credit: Tony Mastres
Credit: Tony Mastres


Dynamical Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary field focused on studying how the nervous system generates perception, behavior, and cognition. It is a computational approach that goes beyond traditional structure/function correlations.

Traditional disciplines that include dynamical neuroscience subject matter are particularly strong at UCSB, including the top ten-ranked Physics and Computer Science Departments. Our PhD students use tools of computational, circuit, systems, cognitive, and behavioral neuroscience to uncover the fundamental principles of brain function.

Before enrollment, Dynamical Neuroscience students choose a faculty advisor to conduct research. Graduate Students will traditionally work in the home department of their advisor, Computer Science; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Geography; Mechanical Engineering; Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology; Psychological & Brain Sciences; and Physics.

The DYNS program spans two colleges at UCSB, the College of Letters and Science and the College of Engineering, and Institutes and Centers.

Campus Facilities

The UCSB Brain Imaging Center, a part of the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, is a core research facility on the UCSB campus dedicated to understanding the human brain's structure, function, and dynamical properties. Directed by Dr. Scott Grafton, the Center supports a state-of-the-art 3-Tesla (3T) Siemens magnet resonance imaging system and MRI-compatible high-density electroencephalography hardware. The Center's primary purpose is to support basic research in cognitive/mind neuroscience using functional magnetic resonance imaging.

Research Partnerships

The Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies at UCSB in partnership with MIT and Caltech develops new methods for analyzing human visual and cognitive strategies, visuomotor control, assessing the effects of physical and mental stress on brain activity, and the effective retrieval and use of knowledge for decision-making applications for optimizing human training and performance.

The Neuroscience Research Institute and the Sage Center for the Study of the Mind promote neuroscience research across disciplines and bring together graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, faculty, and visitors in a spirit of collaboration and discovery.

The Mind and Machine Intelligence Initiative seeks to understand the capabilities of AI and humans to design new AI solutions for the betterment of humans.