About CBN


Welcome to the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience (CBN), a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center. The CBN is an award-winning, interdisciplinary research consortium. The CBN celebrated its 20-year anniversary in 2019, marking the tremendous strides made by center members in research and education that will have lasting impact on the field of neuroscience for decades to come.

Our Mission

The CBN supports innovative research on the brain mechanism of social behavior, educates new generations of research scientists and students in interdisciplinary approaches to behavioral neuroscience, and transmits the excitement of scientific discovery to the general public.


Our researchers use cutting-edge techniques from brain imaging to molecular methods. They have identified a brain chemical that has implications in treating autism, pioneered new methods to diagnose and treat post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), examined brain signaling systems related to obesity, and determined the genetic sequence of an antimicrobial protein from sea slugs with great potential in healthcare and environmental clean-up. These and other major break-throughs demonstrate the power of the CBN to change the world.
When evaluated by the National Science Foundation, the Center was found to be “a model for the execution of science.”


CBN researchers and educators share their enthusiasm for behavioral neuroscience through numerous education and training programs for learners at various ages and stages. Programs range from individual events, such as the Atlanta Regional Brain Bee and Atlanta Science Festival, through summer experiences such as The Neuroscience School and Institute on Neuroscience (ION), to in-depth research assistantships as offered through collaborative programs such as the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) and the Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) program.
The National Science Foundation has lauded the Center’s public education program as “truly impressive in bringing science to the people.”


The Center for Behavioral Neuroscience was established in 1998 by a grant from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation. In November 1999, the Center became one of the National Science Foundation’s Science and Technology Centers and expanded to include seven institutions in Atlanta, Georgia (Georgia State University, Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Morehouse School of Medicine, and the three schools in the Atlanta University Center: Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and Spelman College) and other community partner organizations.

The CBN’s original scientific focus was the neuroscience of social behaviors in the areas of affiliation, aggression, fear and reproduction and the emotional and regulatory processes that underlie them. In the intervening years, inclusion of additional behavioral neuroscientists at the participating institutions resulted in an expansion of the CBN’s activities into the areas of memory, cognition, reward functions of the brain and positive emotional states. That process continues today as the CBN responds to the changing landscape of neuroscience and the evolving needs of its member institutions.

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