SWC's Approach

At SWC, we support extraordinary people to tackle extraordinary problems.


Understanding how the brain gives rise to the building blocks of behaviour is a hard challenge, requiring the integration of theory, experiment, engineering and data science. SWC is uniquely positioned to advance the field through a combination of theory- and experiment-led neuroscience in close partnership with the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit (GCNU) and University College London (UCL).

Our approach is to explain behaviour by:

  1. Identifying the component processes and computations using quantitative and theoretical treatments of behaviour
  2. Revealing how these processes map onto neural activity across brain regions and determining the mechanisms at the level of circuits, cells and synapses
  3. Determining how these circuits and computations are shaped by genes, learning and experience.

Using this approach, we aim to generate theories and models that relate behavioural processes to neural circuit mechanisms.

We know that these foundational principles cannot be discovered by any one laboratory alone. And so we are developing new initiatives for interdisciplinary research that cut across laboratories, experimental methods and theoretical frameworks. This includes both our researchers and the expertise of the teams who lead our core facilities and research platforms, all of whom work together to design experiments, tools and new ways of looking at data. 

Illustration depicting SWC building and people showing research culture


Together, we are working to forge a new culture in which experimentalists, theorists, engineers and data scientists learn to speak the same language and ask the same questions to achieve the goal of understanding how the brain generates flexible behaviour.

Our values

We are committed to making SWC an extraordinary place to do neuroscience and are guided by the following values:

Word cloud featuring SWC values including Bold Thinkers, Team Science, Inclusive, Collaborative, Adaptive, Care, Respect
  • We are scientifically curious individuals deciphering the mysteries of how the brain drives behaviour
  • We nurture team science by fostering collaborations between experimentalists, data scientists, engineers and theorists
  • We provide an inclusive environment where everyone has a voice and individuals are supported to excel
  • We are committed to transparency and reproducibility through open science

By fostering this collaborative environment and removing traditional constraints, SWC strives to forge transformative ideas to understand the building blocks of complex behaviour.