The study of the nervous system's molecular, cellular, developmental, and functional aspects comprises neuroscience research, and is key to understanding the many facets of human sleep, pain, and addiction.

Researchers in SRI’s Center for Health Sciences Neuroscience Program conduct extensive research using biochemistry, molecular biology, proteomics, electrophysiology, and behavioral testing techniques. They also study the brain's structure and function using magnetic resonance imaging technology.

SRI's Center for Neuroscience combines world-class basic science with contract research to provide an environment ideal to partner with clients and help advance research and development programs. We conduct basic research in sleep, circadian rhythms, pain, and addiction using techniques in biochemistry, molecular biology, proteomics, electrophysiology, and behavioral testing.


group of teens sitting together on the grass

SRI’s Sleep Research Laboratory in Menlo Park, California is currently recruiting for this study.

scientist working at a computer

SRI is investigating novel methods and treatments to improve cognitive deficits caused by diseases such as Alzheimer’s and depression.

diagram of nicotinic receptors

SRI is investigating whether the nicotine in tobacco smoke may be useful in meeting the urgent need to manage Parkinson’s disease.

cigarette being snapped in half

SRI is analyzing the genetics of smoking and related characteristics, using data from a large-scale National Cancer Institute study on smoking cessation.

nicotinic receptors affect brain activity

To support more effective cessation treatments, SRI researchers are exploring how nicotinic receptors affect brain activity in response to smoking.

twin boys

SRI established the Twin Research Registry as part of its scientific research and efforts to discover more about human behavior. Fraternal and identical twins and multiples of all ages are invited to join the Registry for consideration for research studies.

Press Releases

brain scan

SRI neuroscientists have found that a form of baclofen, a drug used to treat muscle spasticity, works better at treating narcolepsy than the best drug currently available when tested in mice.

Findings point to a biochemical and physiological explanation of how sleep need, which gradually builds up during wakefulness, is dissipated during sleep.

illustration of the human brain

Researchers have demonstrated that measurements of electrical activity in models of Huntington’s disease could indicate the presence of disease before the onset of major symptoms. Further research on potential biomarkers might one day enable tracking of disease progression.

Joseph Rogers

In his career, Rogers has focused on age-related neurologic diseases. He is best known for showing that inflammatory responses occur in almost all major age-related brain disorders and cause substantial damage, with his seminal paper in the area receiving nearly 1,200 citations to date.

Adolf Pfefferbaum

The Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) awarded its 2011 Distinguished Researcher Award to Adolf Pfefferbaum, M.D., director of the Neuroscience Program in the Center for Health Sciences at SRI International and a professor at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Gary Swang, director of SRI International's Center for Health Sciences

Gary E. Swan, Ph.D., director of SRI International's Center for Health Sciences, has been elected by the membership of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) as its president-elect and will serve as president in 2012.

SRI International, an independent nonprofit research and development institute, announced today that a new Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Program has been established within its Center for Health Sciences.

SRI International, an independent nonprofit research and development institute, announced today that Thomas S. Kilduff, Ph.D., director of SRI International's Center for Neuroscience, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

SRI International, an independent nonprofit research and development organization, announced today that its Center for Neuroscience has entered into a research collaboration with F. Hoffmann-La Roche.

Topics: Neuroscience

A luncheon seminar will focus on SRI International’s work in cancer research, immunology and inflammation, infectious disease, and neuroscience.

SRI In the News

Bioscience Technology highlighted the research activities of SRI's Stephen Morairty, Ph.D. The article noted, "new information over the last 15 years that links sleep disruptions to virtually every central nervous system (CNS) disorder, has expanded the scope of [Morairty's] work greatly to involve...

Topics: Neuroscience
Joe Rogers

Once a year, the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council highlights the successes of technology firms, organizations and programs in the region and the entrepreneurs, innovators, leaders and educators behind those successes. SRI's Dr. Joseph Rogers was the evening's keynote speaker.

SRI Biosciences researcher Sarah Wurts Black describes the development of a model that offers a new approach to studying narcolepsy and exploring potential therapies.

brain scan image

SRI researchers think they may have stumbled onto a way to refine a drug that can treat narcolepsy more effectively, and it has been around for 50 years.

This notorious stimulant may enhance learning and help treat Parkinson's, schizophrenia and other neurological diseases.


To test the hypothesis that less functional impairment results from HcrtR antagonist-induced sleep, we evaluated the performance of rats in the Morris Water Maze in the presence of ALM vs. ZOL.

Recent scientific advances have provided substantial information on the brain circuits and pathways relevant to various aspects of dependence. Neurobiology of Alcohol Dependence highlights the most recent data at the molecular, cellular, neurocircuitry, and behavioral levels, fostering an...

Blog Posts

Researchers in SRI's Center for Neuroscience are searching for a biomarker that could help diagnose neurodegenerative diseases years before symptoms appear and brain damage is already extensive.

SRI is taking an innovative approach that recognizes and attempts to address the emerging concept that Alzheimer’s could be a syndrome, with multiple causes and incestuously-interlocked effects.

Through twin studies, scientists understand the interplay between genetics and the environment in ways that the study of unrelated people–or even other types of siblings–is unable to do.