Message from the Director

garyWelcome to the Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences. We are a research and teaching unit in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science at FAU. We serve the University, professional communities, and the surrounding community with instructional, research, and extracurricular activities that enhance the understanding and appreciation of all issues related to the complexity of the human brain, mind, and behavior. Our faculty members have active research programs at the interface of theoretical disciplines like complex systems, nonlinear dynamics, and multivariate time series, and empirical/modeling disciplines such as cognitive, perceptual, systems, robotics, and computational neuroscience. In all its activities, the Center prepares students to respond to the pressing needs of employment in academia and industry. The Center is known nationally and internationally as one of the few programs in the world solely dedicated to promoting the study and exposition of the brain as a complex dynamical system.

Founded by Dr. J.A. Scott Kelso in 1985, the Center is a multi-disciplinary academic unit that brings together scientists from different backgrounds to tackle the most profound questions of brain and behavior. Center students highly value their research-oriented experience at FAU. They are encouraged and challenged by a rewarding and innovative curriculum that offers a range of studies in complex systems and the brain sciences.

I am very enthusiastic about leading the Center in the coming years with the strong support of our dynamic faculty, hard working staff, and ambitious students. Please feel free to contact me for more information about the Center.


Gary W. Perry, Ph.D.
Director and Professor

What We Do


Research in the Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences addresses fundamental questions in neuroscience from the perspective of complex systems. It deals with questions about how genes work together in networks to form and shape a neuron; about how neurons interact to form complex, emergent, patterns of activity; about how normal brain function is lost when the brain degenerates; about how our cognition is both shaped by and shapes our neural pathways; about how neurons and neuronal circuits support learning and memory; about how visual perception emerges from sensory inputs; about how we control cognition and behavior; and about how coordinated neural activity in brain networks allows us to perform various activities, and to perceive, attend to, and think about the world around us. Research in the Center uses a variety of different approaches, including, but not limited to, those from robotics and machine perception, noninvasive human neuroimaging, neurophysiology and neuroanatomy, time series analysis, network theory, and nonlinear dynamics.