Our Research

Photograph of a child learning

How does the brain develop and function across the lifespan?

Photograph of elderly person receiving care

How can it be protected and repaired?

Neuroscience research in Edinburgh takes place within a vibrant, integrated, and interdisciplinary research environment that encourages interaction between researchers working at all levels, from molecules, through synapses and networks, to cognition and behaviour.  Our research spans the whole life course from birth through adulthood to old age, with fundamental and clinical work integrated across all areas. Across the life course there are shared mechanisms and overlap so our researchers often find themselves working across life-course areas too.

Please use the hyperlinked titles to explore further:

Development and Early life

Including Neurodevelopment, Autism, Early Life Stress, Epilepsy, Intellectual Disability, and early life degenerative conditions such as Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

Adolescence and Adulthood

Including Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Schizophrenia, Functional Disorders

Ageing and Degeneration

Including Healthy Cognition in Ageing, Dementias, Motor Neurone Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Stroke,


Research into processes that take place throughout the life course, including  Cognition, Learning and Memory, Movement, Pain, Sleep, Cancers, Trauma, Regeneration


Why we use animals in research

The brain and nervous system is an incredibly complicated structure. Understanding how it works is essential to appreciating how this can go wrong and what interventions might be effective in delivering relief. While our researchers are committed to the principals of the 3Rs and so, where possible, they develop and use experimental approaches that Replace, Reduce or Refine animal use, there are instances where there are no alternatives to the use of animals. Find out more at our Why we use animals in research webpage.