Prof. SHIN Hee-Sup studies the neural mechanism underlying cognition and sociality using diverse tools, including genetics, physiology, optogenetics, imaging and behavior. He was appointed as the first National Honor Scientist by the Korean government in 2006. Prof. Shin is a member of the National Academy of Science, Republic of Korea, and is a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Science, USA.
What we call the mind is enabled by the brain. How this happens in the brain is what we would like to understand. How consciousness is controlled, how we learn and remember things and events, how emotions are controlled, how we make decisions when needed; these are among the questions we pursue. We are particularly interested in asking these questions in the context of social behavior; this is where the name Center for Cognition and Sociality came from.
We would like to obtain answers to those questions at the levels from molecules, circuits, and behaviors. Multidisciplinary approaches and integration of diverse observations are inevitable when we want to obtain meaningful answers. However, the tools currently available for examining these questions is rather incomplete. We will have to develop new tools that will allow new perspectives on old questions. Open collaboration with scientists from diverse disciplines is an essential component of our strategy. At the same time, we will need to sharpen our questions through ceaseless communication with great minds, and only important questions will yield important answers.
The questions we pursue are fundamental and basic. The answers we obtain, however, will go way beyond just a curiosity-satisfying level. Through these endeavors, we believe, important clues to curing various neuropsychiatric diseases, as well as approaches to improving human society, will be obtained.
Another aim of our Center is to help young neuroscientists to grow to their fullest capacity. In the long run, we believe, accomplishing this aim will be the most rewarding experience for our Center. We will try to make our Center a place where many renowned neuroscientists can later point to as the place their careers truly started.
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