The Francis Crick Medal and Lecture is awarded annually in any field in the biological sciences. Preference is given to genetics, molecular biology and neurobiology, the general areas in which Francis Crick worked, and to fundamental theoretical work, which was the hallmark of Crick’s science.

Professor Tiago Branco will discuss how his group is using mouse instinctive behaviours to answer this question. By recording and manipulating the activity of single neurons and their connections, the team is discovering the biological mechanisms behind instinctive decisions, such as when to escape from imminent threat. This work has uncovered molecular and cellular principles of how brains perform fundamental computations, laying important foundations for tackling psychiatric diseases.