BRAIN Initiative Researchers Meet to Share Progress (December 12-14, 2016)
NIH will host a meeting on December 12-14, 2016 of nearly a thousand people who are part of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative, a large-scale public and private effort to develop new tools and technologies to understand the healthy and diseased brain. Researchers will discuss scientific developments–many which have occurred since the BRAIN Initiative was launched in 2013–promising new directions for research as well as identifying areas for future collaborations.
I’ve blogged about my excitement about this grand challenge designed to revolutionize our understanding of how the brain works. Advances through the BRAIN initiative will lead to new insights into how the brain is organized from the molecular cellular level through the integration of brain circuits that results in complex behavior, emotions, and cognitive ability that is derived from the human brain. To meet this challenge–to fully develop a comprehensive understanding of the brain–new technologies are needed. So far, the BRAIN Initiative has delivered some spectacular results to advance fundamental neuroscience research, from tools to identify the cells of the brain that are involved in specific neural circuits to innovative ways to monitor and manipulate brain activity. The initiative is also pushing new boundaries by creating novel noninvasive methods for scanning brain activity, including trying to distinguish between the activity of neurons versus those of the equally common glial cells. With the continued development of brain-specific technologies will come new insights into how to better diagnose, prevent, treat, and ultimately cure brain disorders.