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Joe Tsien - Augusta University. Augusta, GA, US

Joe Tsien Joe Tsien

Brain Discovery Institute Co-Director | Augusta University


Dr. Joe Tsien, a celebrated neuroscientist, is leading the Brain Decoding Project, a large-scale brain activity mapping effort.





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NMDA Receptor Signaling Critical for Habit Formation



Tsien is a Professor of Neurology, Co-Director of the Brain and Behavior Discovery Institute at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, and an Eminent Scholar of the Georgia Research Alliance in Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience. His laboratory has a long-standing interest in developing and applying various genetic, physiological and mathematical tools to understand how the brain generates memory, knowledge and other cognitive behaviors. Tsien is leading a team of neuroscientists, computer scientists and mathematicians, who are all working on the Brain Decoding Project, a large-scale brain activity mapping effort, which he and his colleagues have initiated since 2007 with the support from the Georgia Research Alliance. Tsien has recently developed the Theory of Connectivity to describe the basic wiring and computational logic of the brain.

Areas of Expertise (7)

Brain Decoding Project Neurology Theory of Connectivity Neuroscience Memory Genetics Cognitive Behavior

Accomplishments (4)

Distinguished Scientist Award (professional)

International Behavioral and Neural Genetics Society (2012)

Eminent Scholar - Georgia Research Alliance (professional)

Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience

Scientific Achievement Award (professional)

Association of Chinese Americans

Bacaner Basic Research Award (professional)

Minnesota Medical Foundation

Media Appearances (3)

We're closer to robots than you think. Intelligence could be the product of a basic algorithm

World Economic Forum  online


This algorithm is found in the Theory of Connectivity, a “relatively simple mathematical logic underlies our complex brain computations,” according to researcher and author Joe Tsien, neuroscientist at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, co-director of the Augusta University Brain and Behavior Discovery Institute and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Cognitive and Systems Neurobiology. He first proposed the theory in October 2015.

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Researchers uncover algorithm which may solve human intelligence

MSN  online


First proposed in 2015, the theory suggests that how we acquire and process knowledge can be explained by how different neurons interact and align in separate areas of the brain. It may also be that our brain power is based on "a relatively simple mathematical logic," according to Dr. Joe Tsien, neuroscientist at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University and author of the paper.

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There might be an algorithm that explains intelligence

Business Insider  online


The human brain is the most sophisticated organ in the human body. The things that the brain can do, and how it does them, have even inspired a model of artificial intelligence (AI). Now, a recent study published in the journal Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience shows how human intelligence may be a product of a basic algorithm.

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Articles (5)

Discover Mouse Gene Coexpression Landscape Using Dictionary Learning and Sparse Coding Springer International Publishing


Gene coexpression patterns carry rich information of complex brain structures and functions. Here we demonstrate a data-driven method that can effectively extract coexpression networks from transcriptome profiles using the Allen Mouse Brain Atlas dataset...

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Adult forebrain NMDA receptors gate social motivation and social memory Neurobiology of Learning and Memory


Motivation to engage in social interaction is critical to ensure normal social behaviors, whereas dysregulation in social motivation can contribute to psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia, autism, social anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)...

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Camera-Based, Non-Contact, Vital-Signs Monitoring Technology May Provide a Way for the Early Prevention of SIDS in Infants Frontiers in Neurology


This paper presents a hypothesis that a camera-based, non-contact, vital-sign monitoring technology, which can indicate abnormal changes or a sudden loss of vital signs in a timely manner, may enable a crucial and low-cost means for the early prevention of SIDS in newborn infants...

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Building a Brainier Mouse Scientific American


By genetically engineering a smarter than average mouse, scientists have assembled some of the central molecular components of learning and memory.

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The Memory Code Scientific American


Researchers are closing in on the rules that the brain uses to lay down memories. Discovery of this memory code could lead to the design of smarter computers and robots, and new ways to peer into the human mind.

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