Although the principal investigator and head of lab Talis Bachmann carried out experimental research already beginning in the mid-seventies (in the Department of Psychology at the University of Tartu) and continued this research occasionally elsewhere (Moscow, Vanderbilt University in Nashville USA), the lab as such was initiated in the mid-nineties. It was located in Tallinn, where Talis held the post of Rector of university and also worked as a professor of cognitive psychology. ESF grants and targeted financing through the Estonian Scientific Competency Council were the financing sources and the lab – Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience — enjoyed a place in the building of Tallinn University located at Karu Street. Several publications between 1995 and 1998 (plus a couple of later ones) owe to the work carried out there. The core of the lab included Endel Põder, Mari Sarv, Neeme Kahusk, Kadri Mäger, Andra Oja, with research students featuring Kaupo Kalev and Karita Hommuk among others. When Talis left Estonia for teaching and research in England from 1996 to 1999, the lab continued its existence and Talis kept supervising it from the distance.
Subsequent to Bachmann’s return from England when he was invited to a private university in Tallinn (the Institute of Law), the lab persisted, with lab members being affiliated both with Tallinn University and the Institute of Law. As the Institute of Law was associated with the University of Tartu, lab members gradually became more and more affiliated with the University of Tartu as well. An important development in the early 2000s was the foundation of the Estonian Center for Behavioral and Health Sciences. Our lab joined this center, one of the Estonian centers of excellency, forming one of its research groups – Perception and Consciousness group. Thus, in addition to our own research money through targeted financing and ESF grants, resources of ECBHS also began to support the lab. (Moreover, the doctoral school opened as affiliated with the center, which allowed additional benefits such as travel for graduate students, purchasing computers for them, inviting high level lecturers from abroad, etc. Not to mention the very successful and, fun-to-attend, yearly conferences of ECBHS.)
At one point, time was ripe for moving the lab from Karu Street to the Tallinn rooms of the Faculty of Law (now School of Law), University of Tartu. The move took place in 2006/2007. The location is excellent: in the center of the city, right by the national theatre Estonia and the Foreign Ministry, in front of a newly erected shopping mall and very close to the famous medieval old town of Tallinn.