The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced new funding totaling more than $220 million for the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative (BRAIN). The initiative is an effort by multiple agencies to provide researchers with “revolutionary tools to fundamentally understand the neural circuits that underlie the healthy and diseased brain.”
“Brain diseases are some of the greatest mysteries in modern medicine. These projects will provide new tools and knowledge needed to discover answers for some of the most difficult neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, in a prepared statement.
Many of the newly issued awards will study the human brain as a whole; however, imaging-related awards were also issued. One recipient is in the process of developing a wireless optical tomography cap for scanning human brain activity. Another awardee is currently developing a noninvasive brain-computer interface system for paralysis patients.
“New tools to map the brain deepen our understanding of how circuit activity relates to behavior," said Joshua A. Gordon, MD, PhD, director of NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health, in the same statement. “The BRAIN Initiative is laying the foundation for improved ways to target brain circuits disrupted in brain disorders.”