The scientific mission of the Helmholtz Institute is to study perception and motor behaviour on various levels of complexity (cells, organs and organism). Presently, it is generally accepted that perception and motor behaviour are manifestations of the same information processing system and should be studied together. In order to study perception successfully, a multi-disciplinary approach is essential in which concepts and methods from neurophysiology, biophysics, psychophysics and psychology are integrated. Excellent scientists with a variety of scientific backgrounds (biology, mathematics, medicine, physics, physiology, and others) work together within the institute to optimize exchange of ideas, knowledge and methods. In addition, the Institute provides a fruitful atmosphere for the development of young, promising scientists who are encouraged to create and realise innovative research plans.