The goal of the Department of Computational Neuroethology (CNE) is to develop computational models which can predict goal-directed animal behaviors.
Dr. Kevin Briggman
Since June 2017, Dr. Kevin Briggman is director of the Department of Computational Neuroethology. Since September 2018, he is currently the managing director of caesar.
Dr. Briggman was originally trained as an electrical engineer at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, USA. As part of his undergraduate curriculum, he studied computational neuroscience and developed an appreciation for the complexity of brain circuits compared to electrical circuits. He decided to pursue graduate studies in computational neurobiology at the University of California, San Diego, USA, earning his doctorate in 2005, and then became a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, Germany from 2005 to 2011. From 2011 to 2017, he led an independent research group as an Investigator at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, USA. In addition to becoming Director and head of the Department of Computational Neuroethology at the caesar research center, Kevin Briggman is also an appointed Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society and a member of the MPI for Metabolism Research, Cologne.
Dr. Briggman’s research is based on an interdisciplinary approach which encompasses behavioral analysis, cellular resolution imaging of neuronal populations, 3D electron microscopy and computational modelling to understand how circuits in the nervous system control animal behavior. The long-term goal of the Department of Computational Neuroethology is to develop models of neural circuits which take into account behavioral variability. Such models should ultimately serve to predict a certain behavioral outcome from the neuronal activity pattern observed in an animal’s brain.