Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Institute (BCNI)

Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia
What the facility does

Multidisciplinary hub to brain imaging to better understand and treat the human brain in health and disease.

Areas of expertise

The BCNI fosters interdisciplinary and collaborative engagement across disciplines and institutions concerning the relationship between mind and brain. Building on the strengths of world-renowned researchers who investigate a variety of behavioural, sensory-motor, cognitive and neurophysiological phenomena, the BCNI focuses on a broad range of topics related to the neurobiological mechanisms underlying attention, perception, sensory-motor integration, language, memory and action in health and disease. The major emphasis is on using structural and functional brain imaging and behavioural/clinical assessments to better understand the biology and neurophysiology of the underlying brain-network connectivity and communication dynamics relating to cognitive human brain functions, cognitive disabilities and neurological and psychiatric symptoms, including traumatic brain injuries. The goal is to further integrate functional connectivity dynamics (or brain-network oscillation dynamics) among local and large-scale networks in health and disease and to develop/improve objective neurophysiological markers, translating into better pedagogical applications and individual cognitive, pharmacological or surgical interventional therapies. Overall, the BCNI provides a matrix of expert scientists, clinicians, centres and institutes working synergistically toward these and related goals across disciplines and institutions.

Research services

Multi-modal brain-imaging infrastructure (across disciplines and institutions), Behavioural research infrastructure (behavioural and clinical assessments), Technology development (centralized-user-friendly data analysis tools and strategies), Applied and translational research (basic and clinical research), Training platform in brain imaging and data signal processing (scientists/ post-docs/ students/ staff), Knowledge development and translation (human brain: education/ health and disease), Development: neurodiagnostic markers (cognitive disabilities/ neurology/ psychiatry), Interventional strategies (cognitive, pharmacological/ neurosurgical), monitoring strategies (behaviour/brain imaging: pre- and post-interventional therapies), Industrial commercialization (hardware-software technologies/ neuromarkers/ intervention/ etc.)

Sectors of application
  • Chemical industries
  • Clean technology
  • Education
  • Energy (renewable and fossil)
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Forestry and forest-based industries
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
  • Manufacturing and processing
  • Mining, minerals and metals
  • Professional and technical services (including legal services, architecture, engineering)

Specialized lab



Networking Area

Collaborative networking capabilities, including Wi-Fi, Smart Board, projectors and white boards

A larger conference/networking area within the BCNI made available to the research community at large across disciplines and institutions to allow further collaborative discussions on imaging technology, data analysis strategies and applied/translational research, knowledge translation and intervention

High-performance computing

Access to Compute Canada’s high-performance computing resources


Centralized software to boost data analysis and visualization

User-friendly and semi-automatic online pipelines, including centralized commercial data analysis and visualization packages

The BCNI further facilitates the harbouring and expansion of centralized brain-imaging expertise and analysis software development

Portable EEG scanner

The BCNI’s and SFU’s only portable EEG system

Allows further complementary dynamic brain-imaging capabilities directly into the multidisciplinary research and public community

Assessment area

The BCNI’s behavioural/clinical assessment area, with portable eye-tracker and portable EEG recordings

Available to the brain-imaging community at large, especially across SFU’s related disciplines

Imaging data analysis area

Workstations with direct access to centralized platforms, user-friendly and semi-automatic software analysis and visualization

The BCNI’s available area for multi-modal imaging data analysis

  • Child and Family Research Institute at BC Children’s Hospital
  • The University of British Columbia
  • NeuroDevNet (Networks of Centres of Excellence)
  • BC Fast ForWord Consortium (BC school interdistrict strategy to facilitate interventional training programs for learning disabilities in B.C. schools)