The brain functions guiding our research

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Brain Function seeks to better understand how the brain interacts with the world by focusing on the brain’s intricate structure and functions that underlie attention, prediction and decision-making.


Our research program addressing Attention comprises multiple projects, each crossing more than one research theme. In a complex environment, we prioritise certain objects and actions at the expense of others. Likewise, sudden or unexpected stimuli (e.g., an approaching car) can capture attention during an ongoing task (crossing the street).


Our research on Prediction is based on recent demonstrations that the brain does not simply respond to external events, but rather compares sensory information against predictions based on internal representations (memories). The difference between predictions and external inputs (‘prediction errors’) are used to initiate adaptive behaviours.


Every day we make decisions based on information captured by multiple senses and on our internal goals. For example, to cross a road, we must decide how to coordinate our movements to reach the destination safely and at the right time. To achieve this goal, we guess where the car is likely to be while we cross the road, given what we see of its trajectory and the sound it produces.