The basic mission of EPOS is to advance the study of cognition, man or machine. The researchers in EPOS are concerned with the question of how information is acquired and represented, how information is understood and communicated, how it is used in the control of action, and how it is stored in the brain.
The Graduate School Neurosciences Amsterdam Rotterdam (ONWAR) consists of five research institutes of the VU University Amsterdam, the University of Amsterdam, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the Erasmus medical center. The scientific directors of the research institutes comprise the Directory Board of the Graduate School and one of them is appointed as Scientific Director (as of 2007: prof.dr. A.B. Smit.). VU University Amsterdam has acted as the representative for the school ever since it was initiated. The ONWAR has been recognized by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1992, 1997, 2002 and 2009.