Our Research

Our Research


Confocal fluorescent image of hippocampus

How does the human brain develop and function across the lifespan

Photograph of MRI Scanning

How can it be protected and repaired?

Neuroscience research in Edinburgh takes place within a vibrant, integrated, and interdisciplinary research structure which facilitates interaction between researchers working at all levels of neuroscience from molecules through synapses and networks to cognition and behaviour. Our researchers work within research centres which work closely together, with clinical work being integrated across all areas. Our core research themes are:


Our work unravelling the mechanisms involved in neurodegenerative conditions such as motor neurone disease, stroke and the dementias is multifaceted, with clinical and basic research coming together within the innovative Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic, the Euan MacDonald Centre for MND Research, and the Alzheimer's Scotland Dementia Research Centre.


With outstanding facilities and researchers, the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine provides a hub for our work understanding central nervous system and peripheral nervous system development, and the use of regenerative medicine (such as stem cells) for conditions like multiple sclerosis. Research in this area is underpinned by the MS Society funded Edinburgh Centre for MS Research and aumented by work within the MRC Centre for Inflammation Research.

Neurones & Networks

Unpicking the mechanisms underlying basic neuronal signalling, neuroendocrine responses (e.g. stress and feeding behaviour), and developmental disorders (e.g. Autism, Fragile X syndrome, epilepsy), this basic research interfaces with clinical work within the Patrick Wild Centre for Research into Autism, Fragile X Syndrome and Intellectual Disabilities and the Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre.

Individual Differences in Cognition

Spearheaded by our world-leading MRC/BBSRC funded Centre for Cognitive Ageing & Cognitive Epidemiology reserach in this area seeks to understand the factors influencing human behaviour and cognitive health.

Language, Memory & Perception

Exploring the mechanisms by which we perceive the world, develop language skills, and lay down memories.

Psychiatric and Psychological Disorders

Understanding the causes and mechanisms of disorders such as schizophrenia, biopolar disorder and depression, this research is underpinned by our Wellcome Trust Stratgeic Award on Stratifying Resilience and Depression Longitudinally (STRADL).