The CBN research program examines the basic neural systems governing social behaviors in animals. It also seeks to explain how social experience and the environment alter the nervous system.

Research support is provided through a system that encourages the development of multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary projects. Although the CBN focuses primarily on basic research, the Center also supports translational research.

Through research groups called “Collaboratories” CBN scientists have built synergistic inter-disciplinary partnerships among investigators using different models, technologies and approaches. Historically, these groups have focused on the neuroscience of affiliation, aggression, fear, reproduction and memory and cognition.

Most recently, CBN scientists have teamed up to discuss new ideas for investigating the neuroscience of positive emotions. While the study of positive emotions has now become a vibrant component of several areas of social science, far less work has been done on the fundamental neural processes related to positive emotional and social states. The CBN wishes to build complementary work in neuroscience in this area by stimulating new advances in basic neuroscience research focused on: social bonding; tolerance; trust; altruism; cooperation; empathy, and hope.