The Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences is dedicated to understanding the principles and mechanisms that underlie complex behavior. From the microscopic level of cells and organelles to the grand scale of human interaction, our mission is to bring together multiple discplines to tackle the most intriguing questions about the brain, the mind, consciousness, and behavior.

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How does the function of a complex system like the brain depend upon its elements and their connections? How do genes work together to form and shape a cell? What happens when a nerve is damaged? How are our perceptions shaped by our neural pathways? How do we control movements, coordinate activity, play and listen to music, and see the world around us? What neural networks exist and emerge when we perform various activities?

Founded by Dr. J.A. Scott Kelso in 1985, the Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences is a multi-disciplinary academic unit in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science at Florida  Atlantic University. The Center brings together scientists from different backgrounds such as theoretical physicists, cognitive psychologists, laboratory biologists, and applied mathematicians to tackle the most profound questions of brain and behavior.

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Professor Scott Kelso was invited keynote speaker at the opening session 

of the 18th Herbstakademie in Heidelberg, Germany, March 26-28. His 

talk "De Agencia" was on the dynamical origins of agency.

During his visit, Dr Kelso had the opportunity to meet and discuss with 

his old friends Prof. Dr Hermann Haken (the recipient of an Honorary 

Doctorate at FAU in 1992) and Dr. Thomas Ditzinger, a former 

Post-Doctoral Fellow at CCSBS and now an Executive Editor of Springer 

Publishing (see attached photos). Drs Ditzinger and Kelso visited the 

famous Philosophenweg in Heidelberg, a path taken by scientists such as 

Bunsen, Kirchoff and Helmholtz, philosophers such as Hegel and poets 

such as Goethe.

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Ph.D. candidate Joseph Norman successfully defended his dissertation entitled "A Theory for the Perception of Object Motion" on May 1st, 2014 at 2PM. He began a position as a postdoctoral fellow at the New England Complex Systems Institute in mid-May with a research focus on complex social systems with applications to real-world problems.

Ph.D. student Tracy Romano successfully completed her dissertation entitled "Time-frequency classification of gamma oscillatory activity in the frontoparietal system during working memory" in 2013. She began a new position as a reports analyst at FEMA on March 9, 2014.

Prof. John Jeka, a former Center student and PhD graduate (1992) received FAU's Distinguished Alumni Award at a Hall of Fame Ceremony on April 29, 2014. Jeka is currently Professor and Chair of Cognitive Motor Neuroscience in the Department of Kinesiology at Temple University and Professor Emeritus at The University of Maryland, where he held appointments in Neuroscience and Bioengineering. 

Prof. Jeka is internationally recognized for his work on human locomotion and balance, with a specific interest in how information from multiple senses is fused for upright stance control. He is extensively published and has received multiple awards from the National Institutes of Health, NASA and the National Science Foundation. He is co-founder of Treadsense, a company which develops technology for human balance and mobility.


Please join us in congratulating Emmanuelle Tognoli for her much deserved promotion to Associate Research Professor!  


Emmanuelle came to the Center as a post-doctoral fellow in 2003 and later joined Dr. Kelso's Human Brain and Behavior Laboratory (HBBL) as a Research Assistant Professor.  She was the first author of a landmark paper (the cover article!) published in PNAS in 2007 entitled "The phi-complex as a neuromarker of human social coordination."  She has published numerous noteworthy papers, book chapters and proceedings in the past six years.

Prof. Scott Kelso gave Invited Keynote/Plenary talks describing he and his colleagues' research at three major European meetings:

Intelligent Systems Research Summit, "Brain breakthroughs: From cells to society", Derry~Londonderry, UK City of Culture, N. Ireland, June 11-12, 2013

18th European College of Sports Science, "The neural choreography of coordinated behaviour", Barcelona, Spain, June 26-29, 2013.

4th International Conference on Cognitive Neurodynamics, "Bidirectional coupling between humans, machines and nervous systems", Sigtuna, Sweden, June, 23-27, 2013.

Dr. Scott Kelso and Dr. Steven Bressler were plenary speakers at the 4th International Conference on Cognitive Neurodynamics held in Sigtuna, Sweden on June 23-27, 2013. This ongoing conference series represents the emergence of a new field, which spans the entire spectrum of cognition from synaptic dynamics to social interactions, and is united by concepts from nonlinear neurodynamics operating simultaneously across spatial and temporal scales. A new kind of scientists is also emerging, schooled in multiple academic disciplines, comfortable in working with data from different levels, and conversant with the mathematical and computational tools that are essential to cross boundaries. Cognition in its essence is dynamic and multilayered, and pursuit of new clues inevitably leads from one layer to the next, both reductionist and holistic. A trend to study cognition from the point of view of neurodynamics has emerged as a result of the current, rapid developments taking place in nonlinear dynamics and cognitive science.

Scott Kelso: “Multiscale coordination dynamics: From astrocyte~neuronal coupling to the human dynamic clamp” 

Steven Bressler: “Set-related neurocognitive networks and neurodynamic processing” 

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See http://www.agoraforbiosystems.org/ICCN2013/ for more information.

Tracy Romano Ph.D. Defense 11/6/13 


F.A.U. | Charles E. Schmidt College of Science

Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences

Florida Atlantic University - 777 Glades Road, BS-12 - Boca Raton, FL 33431

Phone: (561) 297-2230 - Email: frankel@ccs.fau.edu