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 the emotion is 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: where the name, Center for Cognition and Sociality, came from.
We would like to obtain answers to those questions at the levels from molecules to circuits to behaviors. Multidisciplinary approaches and integration of diverse observations are inevitable when we want to obtain meaningful answers to any of those questions. The current list of tools, however, 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 human wisdoms and great minds: 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 the 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 which many top-quality neuroscientists in the future can recall as the place where their dreams for a successful career were realized.
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