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About the Institute

The Wu Tsai Institute is an interdisciplinary research endeavor at Yale University connecting neuroscience and data science to accelerate breakthroughs in understanding cognition.

Introducing the Wu Tsai Institute at Yale

Responsible for how we think, feel, connect, learn, and grow, cognition drives our inner world and outward behavior. It enables creativity and problem solving, feeds empathy and altruism, and builds relationships and organizations. It is what makes us human.

Researchers at Yale have been studying the brain and cognition for generations. And in 2021, a historic and transformative gift from Joseph C. Tsai ’86, ’90 J.D., and Clara Wu Tsai established the Wu Tsai Institute.

We aim to spur ambitious ideas and harness the latest technologies to accelerate breakthroughs that bridge from biology and psychology to computer science and engineering.

Our mission is

to understand

human cognition

and explore human potential by sparking interdisciplinary inquiry.

Research activities in the Institute are coordinated through three interdependent pillars: the Center for Neurodevelopment and Plasticity, the Center for Neurocognition and Behavior, and the Center for Neurocomputation and Machine Intelligence


We are committed to advancing our mission by building new training programs, funding opportunities, and modes of science that embody diversity, inclusion, and cooperation as core values. In the summer of 2023, the Institute moved into a new home at 100 College Street in downtown New Haven. Strategically positioned between Yale’s medical center and central campus, the Institute’s headquarters is a hub for bridging research from Yale scientists across dozens of departments and disciplines. These include the entire Department of Psychology from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Neuroscience from the School of Medicine.

Understanding cognition is one of the greatest challenges in the history of science. Thanks to the vision and generosity of Joe Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai, Yale will pursue a thrilling new approach to the intensive, long-term study of the brain and the wonders of the mind. This is a vast undertaking that advances Yale as a leader in scientific research, while promising insights that will improve life for people around the world.

Yale President Peter Salovey, a social psychologist and pioneer of the study of emotional intelligence

Explore our year-in-review highlighting our impact, research, initiatives, and resources, and engage with us as we continue our journey to know, together.

Close up of micrscope