The scientists in the department “Physiology of cognitive processes” at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics
want to understand how the brain works. To do this they employ a variety of electrophysiological, imaging and anatomical methods. Some of the behavioral experiments are carried out on humans and others on animals, primarily on non-human primates. Although some of this research can be carried out using non-invasive methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging, we can only understand the activity and function of complex neural networks by entering the brain itself.
Only by taking electrophysiological recordings from many single nerve cells in the network will scientists be able to unravel complicated processes such as thought and memory, knowledge that can then be used to help people in whom these brain functions are impaired as a result of disease, accidents or congenital defects.
Read A Short Introduction to Animals in Basic Biomedical Research
by Nikos Logothetis, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics.