Founded in 1983 by four faculty members at Concordia University, CSBN has grown into an inter-university research centre comprising eighteen core laboratories:
- Eleven at Concordia University (Department of Psychology, Department of Exercise Science)
- Five at McGill University
- One at l'Université de Montréal
- One at l'Université du Québec à Montréal
Together these teams include over 150 investigators, from regular faculty to research associates, postdoctoral fellows, visiting scientists, and students at the Ph.D., Master, and undergraduate level. The quality of research and training at CSBN has achieved international recognition and has attracted ongoing collaboration with other institutes around the world.
Throughout its history, a major focus of research within the CSBN has been the study of the neurobiological basis of drug abuse and center researchers have made outstanding contributions to the study of drug addiction and, more generally, to the study of appetitive motivation. With the growth of the centre the research focus has broadened and now includes the neural, hormonal, and psychological processes that maintain homeostasis and ensure successful reproduction as well as the disruption of these processes that leads not only to drug dependence, but also to obesity and sexual dysfunction.
The research is clustered around three principal themes: reward, motivation, and plasticity. These themes are explored using methods and approaches drawn from many disciplines including:
- experimental psychology
- behavioural decision theory
- molecular neuroscience