Signature Research Areas | Neuroscience/Brain & Mind

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50+ years of global leadership in neuroscience

100+ researchers engaged, including 10 Canada Research Chairs

Lead $66M BrainsCAN initiative through Canada First Research Excellence Fund

Identified as the first Western Cluster of Research Excellence

Home to one of the world’s most comprehensive imaging suites, including a 7T fMRI system for neurological use

Global leadership in cognitive neuroscience through the Brain & Mind Institute, which has produced more than 1,000 leading papers over 15 years

Unique graduate program in neuroscience


For the past 50 years, some of Western’s most internationally recognized research has been conducted in the field of neuroscience. From understanding childhood development to deciphering the neural basis for cognitive functions, Western cultivates an integrated approach to studies of the brain that bring together some of the most accomplished minds at the forefront of neuroscience research, with a specific focus on cognitive neuroscience.

Key Research Initiatives

The Brain & Mind Institute

Recognized as an international leader, The Brain & Mind Institute (BMI) provides a central, visible presence for cognitive neuroscience research at Western. Its primary functions are to promote research, facilitate training of highly qualified personnel and foster national and international collaborations in cognitive neuroscience. The institute's integrated approach to research is helping improve understandings of the neural bases of mental abilities, such as perception, memory, reasoning, language and more through such disciplines as psychology, linguistics, artificial intelligence, imaging, computational theory and philosophy.

Centre for Functional Metabolic Mapping

The Centre for Functional and Metabolic Mapping (CFMM) at Western’s Robarts Research Institute houses Canada’s only collection of high-field (3T human) and ultra-high field (7T human and 9.4T animal) MR systems. The Centre is dedicated to establishing the anatomical, metabolic and functional characteristics of normal brain development and healthy aging across the lifespan. Work at the centre is also establishing the brain basis of developmental, neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative deficits.

The Rotman Institute of Philosophy

The Rotman Institute of Philosophy builds upon Western's internationally recognized strengths in philosophy of science by supporting projects that bring together philosophers, scientists, policymakers and the public at large. By building bridges between philosophy and the sciences, and drawing upon their respective strengths, its members are better able to address challenges with broad impact on Canada and the world.


BrainsCAN is a neuroscience research initiative at Western aiming to transform the way brain diseases and disorders are understood, diagnosed and treated. Through innovative funding programs and core infrastructure, BrainsCAN accelerates effective solutions for maintaining a healthy brain. Funded by $66 million from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, the initiative currently leads research efforts related to neurodegenerative conditions that include Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Autism Spectrum Disorder, concussion, stroke and more.

Clinical Neurological Sciences

The Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences at Western's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry represents one of the most multi-disciplinary and highly collaborative groups in Canada. It has a long and rich history of clinical investigation and is one of the few academic programs in North America in which neurology, neurosurgery, neuropathology, and neuroradiology form a tightly integrated academic program to provide advanced diagnostic and treatment options to patients with a wide range of neurological disorders. CNS is internationally recognized for leadership in stroke and cerebrovascular diseases, epilepsy, brain and spinal cord injury, spinal degeneration, tumours, and brain infections.