Welcome to INC

From the Directors

Welcome to visit the web site of the Institute for Neural Computation, an organized research unit of the University of California San Diego. We invite you to explore this site and learn more what INC has to offer to the science and engineering of neural computation through its various research programs and outreach activities.

INC has been in existence on campus since 1990, and has its origins in the Institute for Cognitive Science as the oldest such unit worldwide. Over the years INC has had a defining and pioneering role in computational studies of neural systems, both natural and manmade. Our mission is to bring together the diverse research community in the basic sciences, medical, and engineering disciplines at UCSD in advancing and promoting a new science of computation and learning, based on the multiscale, parallel, and highly adaptive architectures found in biological neural systems.

We are in the midst of a major shift in the way we think about complex systems like brains and computers. Until recently, the dominant models in cognitive science and artificial intelligence were based on symbol processing. Researchers in a wide spectrum of disciplines are now exploring a new paradigm for computation based on distributed rather than localized data structures, and on information flow in dynamical systems rather than through sequences of logical operation. The impact of this new approach to computation has influenced research directions in many areas of science. In neuroscience, modeling techniques are changing the way that we think about how distributed processes within neurons and interacting populations of neurons represent information and how neural mechanisms process this information on scales ranging from molecules to brain systems. In cognitive science, parallel distributed processing models, pioneered at UCSD, have revolutionized concepts of memory, attention and language. In computer engineering, VLSI chips and optical devices are being created that process information in parallel, heralding a new generation of computers that have vast computational power dedicated to problems in vision, speech recognition, and motor control.

INC continues to write history in the science and engineering of neural computation, and we invite you to join us on this exciting journey.