Brain Science


The human brain is the most complex piece of organized matter in the known universe. We use our singular approach to uncover its mysteries and share valuable resources with the global community of neuroscientists.

Our research programs aim to uncover and share the fundamentals of the brain: identifying its components, observing brain activity in action, and producing large-scale, open science resources that empower the global neuroscience community to make novel discoveries.

The first ten years of the Allen Institute for Brain Science built our legacy in comprehensive gene expression atlases of the mouse and human brain. Using the same guiding principles behind our atlases—big, team and open science—researchers at the Allen Institute are now driving forward to understand how the parts and structure of the brain give rise to its behavior.

Understanding the Brain

In order to understand a system as complex as the brain, we need to analyze it at several levels, including its fundamental parts, how those parts communicate information, and how the activity of the brain generates behaviors we can observe, such as vision and decision-making.

We call this approach the three “C’s”: components, computations and cognition.


Our Tactics

Structured Science

We employ a unique method that takes research-driven questions and integrates technology, engineering and program management. Focusing our efforts through this Structured Science architecture allows us to generate data that is both high quality and at scale, while remaining nimble enough to adapt to new and increasingly complex research projects.


Our research programs incorporate technology from the very earliest stages of growth in order to ensure that the data we collect translates into resources that will serve the scientific community.

Modeling, Analysis and Theory

High quality data are the foundation for our understanding of the brain, so working iteratively with modelers and theorists is critical to ensuring the data we collect and share can be used in a meaningful way to understand how the brain works.

Learn More


Read about the research programs that drive our science.

Products & Tools

Discover the online public resources and open science research tools we share with the global neuroscience community.

Scientific Publications

View our scientists' scholarly publications on work that takes place at the Allen Institute for Brain Science.