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 and Kaupo Kalev. 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. Starting from 2001 more students joined the lab, including Iiris Tuvi (Luiga), Andra Oja and Karita Hommuk. During 2006-2020 the lab continued working as part of Faculty of Law (located in Tallinn) of the University of Tartu. The lab became the fist research lab in Baltics where EEG/TMS neuronavigation equipment was used for online computer driven visual perception studies. More students joined the lab, including Jaan Aru, Carolina Murd, Renate Rutiku, Inga Karton, Kadi Tulver, Jaan Tulviste, Rene Randver. The research done in the lab resulted in numerous doctoral thesises defended by Põder, Tuvi (Luiga), Murd, Rutiku, Karton, Tulver, Tulviste, Randver and many Master Theseses and Bachelor Theseses.

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.