The goal of the Wu Tsai Institute at Yale University is to understand human cognition. 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. The strands of cognition are woven into the fabric of society, its systems, cultures, and values. It is the essence of what makes us human.
We explore these fundamental processes by bringing together scientists who study the psychological properties of the mind with those who study the biological properties of the brain. We bridge these often-separated branches of neuroscience through cutting-edge technologies and the common language of data science. This provides a computational foundation for building new models and theories of cognition.
We ask questions with the potential for broad impact, from education, health, and technology, to the future of the workforce and the environment, to social values, inequities, and human dignity. Why do we learn so well as young children? How do experiences and memories shape life decisions? How do molecules and cells orchestrate intelligent behavior? How can we gain control of our brain activity to improve performance? Which algorithms are used by the mind?
We embrace diversity in ideas and people, seeking meaningful and innovative cooperation across natural, social, computational, and engineering sciences. The word “cognition” traces to the Latin “co” (together) and “gnoscere” (to know). That is how we function and what we aim to achieve at the Wu Tsai Institute—to know, together.