The complexity of the human brain (100 billion nerve cells, each with approximately 10,000 connections to other neurons) has been a challenge to the development of an integrative understanding of human cognition and higher brain function. Even an individual neuron, with its ramifying dendritic tree and axon collaterals presents similar challenges.
Research by the faculty in the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience (IPN) contributes to this understanding using a broad range of techniques including behavior, anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, computational modeling, and informatics. The level of research ranges from the subcellular / molecular level (in the context of such phenomena as drug addiction and the biological basis of schizophrenia) to the systems / behavioral level. External research collaborations exist with federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, public not-for-profit corporations such as Great Ape Trust of Iowa, and other universities.