NIH report outlines BRAIN Initiative’s high priority research areas

NIH Director Francis Collins encourages members of scientific community to comment on interim report.

By Pat Kobor

On Sept. 16, 2013, the National Institute of Health’s Brain Initiative Working Group presented an interim report which proposes a nine-point research plan addressing NIH’s part of the multiagency initiative. See the ACD website for the interim report, an executive summary and the slide presentation from the meeting, which was held by teleconference. 

The nine NIH research areas emphasized in the interim report are to guide spending of the $40 million that was proposed in the president’s fiscal year 2014 budget. A final report is expected in June 2014 that would guide NIH’s portion of the initiative in the longer term, probably for five years. The vision for the initiative is to combine the following nine areas of research into a coherent, integrated science of cells, circuits, brain and behavior:

  • Generate a census of brain cell types.
  • Create structural maps of the brain.
  • Develop new, large-scale neural network recording capabilities.
  • Develop a suite of tools for neural circuit manipulation.
  • Link neuronal activity to behavior.
  • Integrate theory, modeling, statistics and computation with neuroscience experiments.
  • Delineate mechanisms underlying human brain imaging technologies.
  • Create mechanisms to enable collection of human data for scientific research.
  • Disseminate knowledge and training.

NIH Director Francis Collins encouraged members of the scientific community to comment on the interim report. Comments can be submitted on the BRAIN Feedback website.

For more information on this issue contact Pat Kobor.