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One of the grand challenges of the 21st century is to decipher the neural mechanisms that underlie brain function and consciousness and to elucidate the causes of devastating brain disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.

In collaboration with neuroscientists and neurologists at Cornell University and Weill Cornell Medical College, researchers in the College of Engineering at Cornell are developing advanced optical tools to enable detailed studies of brain function and dysfunction.

Chris Xu, professor of applied engineering and physics, and Chris Schaffer, associate professor of biomedical engineering, describe these powerful new techniques and the neurological findings they have enabled. Part of Cornell's sesquicentennial celebration, April 24-27, 2015.