BRAIN and BEHAVIOR INITIATIVE WEEKLY DIGEST

July 15, 2019


News

The brain appears to implement a GPS system for spatial navigation; however, it is not yet fully understood how this works. Now, new research suggests that rhythmic fluctuations in brain activity, so-called theta oscillations, may play a role in this process by helping to remember the locations to which a person is navigating. Ultimately, scientists hope that these studies may contribute to identifying novel biomarkers for neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's.
Several companies now say they may have a compromise solution for those with sleep disorders who do not want to spend the night in a strange hospital room wired with electrodes. They are offering high-tech sleep-monitoring headbands that combine brain wave-reading electrodes with sophisticated artificial intelligence. Best of all, the devices can be worn in one's own bed, allowing the technology to more accurately get readings of someone’s sleep patterns at home.
Researchers have developed improved methods for mind control of a robotic arm that can continuously track and follow a randomly moving target. For patients with severe neurological disorders, this technology could enhance the quality of life, since a noninvasive setup--i.e. one that receives mental signals via EEG--would be more practical than an implanted one if the EEG technology can be made to work well.
Dogs can be trained to respond to haptic vibration commands while wearing a modified canine vest developed by an interdisciplinary research team at Ben-Gurion University. The technology may be useful for delivering remote commands to dogs for use in search and rescue, assisting disabled handlers, and other service animal applications. This proof-of-concept study shows promising results that open the way toward the use of haptics for human-animal communication.
Dr. Michael Beyeler wants to interface with your brain through bionic vision. His goal is to understand how to go from camera input to electrical stimulation and come up with a code that the visual system can interpret, which requires both a deep understanding of the underlying neuroscience as well as the technical skills to engineer a viable real-time solution. He argues that we might be better off thinking about how to create "practical" and "useful" artificial vision rather than focusing on "natural" vision.
Among all of NIH’s Activity Codes, you might be most familiar with those starting with an “R” (as in R01 and R21) and less so with those beginning with a “U,” for example, U01 and U19. But cooperative agreements are a support mechanism that NIH frequently uses for high-priority research areas requiring substantial involvement from NIH staff for oversight, coordination, or facilitation.

Recent Resources from NIH

Listen to this installment of the NIH’s All About Grants podcast as Shoshana Kahana, Ph.D., NIH Research Training Policy Officer, discusses the individual fellowship (F) award application process, sharing tips and best practices for developing a strong application.
When writing an NIH grant application, applicants are asked to develop a Project Summary/Abstract and a Project Narrative. Check out the table below to see how the two sections compare and what you ought to include in each.
Who funds your current research? Make sure to let NIH know. It is required. NIH uses this information to ensure that all resources made available to an investigator are considered prior to making an award.

Calendar of Events

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Funding Announcements

New FOA are listed below. Please visit bbi.umd.edu/news/FOA for the complete list of open Funding Announcements.

*New!* The William T. Grant Foundation invites applications for its Research Grants on Reducing Inequality program. The foundation seeks research that builds, tests, and increases understanding of approaches to reducing inequality in youth outcomes, especially on the basis of race, ethnicity, economic standing, language minority status, and/or immigrant origins, and is also interested in research dedicated to programs, policies, and practices designed to reduce inequality in academic, social, behavioral, and economic outcomes. Letters of Inquiry due: August 1, 2019

*New!* Proof of Concept Development of Early Stage Next Generation Human Brain Imaging (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) aims to support early stage development of entirely new and novel noninvasive human brain imaging technologies and methods that will lead to transformative advances in our understanding of the human brain. Application due: September 3, 2019.

*New!* Non-Invasive Neuromodulation: New Tools and Techniques for Spatiotemporal Precision (R01 Clinical Trial Optional) seeks to encourage is the optimization of novel tools and methods of neuromodulation that go beyond the existing forms of neural stimulation. Application due: September, 3, 2019.

*New!* NIH invites R01 applications for the Computational Methods for Integrating Tissue and Single Cell Genomic Data from the Brain project to support the development or application of advanced computational and statistical tools to advance our understanding of the gene regulatory networks and biological pathways involved in the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of mental disorders. Application due: September 3, 2019.

*New!* NIH invites R61/R33 applications for the Implementation Research on Hypertension Control to Prevent Dementia and Cognitive Decline to conduct research involving pragmatic clinical trials on dissemination and implementation of practical approaches to hypertension treatment and control strategies among older adults with multimorbidity in order to prevent sequelae, including mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Application due: October 22, 2019.

*New!* The National Institutes of Health invites R21 applications for the Regulation of Brain Regional and Cell Type Specific Proteome Dynamics in Alzheimer’s Disease project. This FOA invites early stage innovative and exploratory research focusing on understanding the regulation of brain regional and cell type-specific protein dynamics in Alzheimer's disease. Application due: October 23, 2019.

*New!* The National Institutes of Health invites R03 applications for its Behavioral Science Track Award for Rapid Transition (B/Start) program to support studies that apply cognitive and behavioral science approaches to research questions relevant to substance use disorders (SUD). Application due: January 7, 2022.

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