Computational and Systems Neuroscience

Our research in computational and systems neuroscience includes expertise in developing new methods for acquiring, modelling, synthesising and interpreting neuroscience data across our research themes. We are also using state-of-the-art neuroimaging technologies to help us understand complex neurophysiological processes in health and disease, spanning levels of detail from individual cells to whole brain and behaviour. Cognitive neuroscience is a further strength that cuts across this theme.

Our research groups are aligned to three main areas:
• Preclinical Neuroimaging
• Human and Clinical Neuroimaging
• Computational and Systems Neuroscience

Sagittal MRI scan of human brain

Preclinical Neuroimaging

Our preclinical neuroimaging research uses a wide range of state-of-the-art technologies to visualise brain structure and function at a level of detail not possible in human subjects or patient populations. Our principle research areas include:

Mouse cerebral cortex with fluorescent dye highlighting vasculature

Human and Clinical Neuroimaging

With access to some unique clinical populations and a wide range of imaging modalities available, we are shedding light on normal brain function, addressing key questions in cognitive neuroscience, and investigating the changes that occur in a wide range of brain diseases.

  • Neuroradiology and Clinical MRI – this includes our 3T and 1.5T research MRI systems and a diverse portfoilio of research into CNS disorders including ALS, dementia and neurodegenerative diseases, epilepsy, ataxia.
  • Polarised Imaging Systems – advanced neuroimaging using hyperpolarised gases, in association with the University of Sheffield Pulmonary MR imaging Group (POLARIS)
  • The EEG Research Group addresses a wide range of questions in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience using state of the art electroencephalography systems
  • The Sheffield Autism Research Laboratory (ShARL) has an internationally renowned reputation in autism research which incorporates cognitive, psychophysical and EEG research tools
  • The Developmental Affective Neuroscience Laboratory brings together EEG and fMRI techniques to investigate the development of emotion and emotion regulation in the brain
  • The Translational Neuropsychology Group conducts research on the neuroscientific, clinical and behavioural aspects of neurodegenerative and neurological disorders
White matter pathways of the human brain revealed by diffusion tensor imaging

Computational and Systems Neuroscience

The University of Sheffield has a strong track record in the use of computational and systems neuroscience approaches to understand how the brain functions. Our computational neuroscience research include groups within the Department of Computer Science as well as Sheffield Robotics, a national leader in robotics research. In addition many of our researchers are active members of The INSIGNEO Institute for in silico Medicine, a major cross-disciplinary initiative with the Faculty of Engineering involving academic & clinical staff who collaborate to develop computer simulations of the human body and its disease processes.

Our neuroinformatics research connects to the computational biology, bioinformatics and machine learning strengths under the Translational Neuroscience theme, as well as to the Centre for Computational Imaging & Simulation Technologies in Biomedicine (CISTIB).

Images from the Fruit Fly Brain Observatory, an open source platform for studying fruit fly brain function and disease models