NSF Directorates Team up on Neuroscience

When Science Directorate staff met with the two new Assistant Directors at NSF (Dr. Jim Collins, AD of Biological Sciences and Dr. David Lightfoot, AD of SBE Sciences) back in March, they alerted us to an upcoming workshop they had planned to explore their mutual interests in neuroscience.

When Science Directorate staff met with the two new Assistant Directors at NSF (Dr. Jim Collins, AD of Biological Sciences and Dr. David Lightfoot, AD of SBE Sciences) back in March, they alerted us to an upcoming workshop they had planned to explore their mutual interests in neuroscience. The workshop took place July 18-19 at NSF headquarters and was entitled "Mind and Brain: Strategies and Directions for Future Research".

The goal of the workshop was to identify strategies and innovative directions for accelerating research at the intersection of neuroscience and cognition. The workshop was meant to address in part some questions that are currently driving such research, including the neural bases and development of language, conceptual knowledge, perception and sensation, the control of action, and learning. Rather than focusing exclusively on their own research, the participants were asked to report on what they saw as the big outstanding questions to be answered, promising future directions, new methodologies, potential new cross-cutting areas, and areas that are particularly ripe for rapid progress if additional funding was available.

The first day of the workshop was oriented towards individual short presentations and breakout sessions, and the second day was meant to focus more on group discussion with an aim towards synthesis. Unfortunately, the meeting was closed to the public but Science Policy staff will work with NSF program staff and APA members who served on the steering committee and/or participated in the actual workshop to distill some of the highlights for a future edition of SPIN.