NC Utrecht focuses on three research areas:
- Perception and Cognitive Neuroscience: This theme addresses the basic processes of perception, learning and memory formation, language, attention, and action, and their neurobiological underpinnings. The aim is to better understand the plasticity of human functioning in response to external (physical, societal, educational) and internal (ageing, neurological deterioration), as well as pharmacological (both external and internal) factors.
- Social and Affective Neuroscience: This theme deals with the neurobiological, cognitive, and affective foundations of social interaction and (verbal and non-verbal) communication. The aim is to better understand the motives and capacities that control social behaviour, including social cognition, self-regulation, emotions and stress, and economics and social decision-making behaviour.
- Brain Disorders and Clinical Neuroscience: This theme focuses on the understanding of the aetiology and the improvement of diagnosis and treatment of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders that substantially impair cognitive, emotional and social functioning. Specific attention includes conditions such as vascular cognitive impairment (dementias), stroke, epilepsy, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, psychosis, Anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorders.
Importantly, NCU research is conducted in a collaborative research and clinical setting, leading to a productive and continuous interaction of fundamental research and medical relevance within and between the three main research themes.