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Cognitive Neuroscience


Program Announcement

NSF 02-031



      DIVISION OF BEHAVIORAL AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES



FULL PROPOSAL TARGET DATE(S):

March 15, 2002
January 15 of each year starting in 2003
July 15 of each year

 




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SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS



GENERAL INFORMATION

Program Title: Cognitive Neuroscience

Synopsis of Program: The Cognitive Neuroscience emphasis seeks highly innovative and interdisciplinary proposals aimed at advancing a rigorous understanding of how the human brain supports thought, perception, affect, action, social processes, and other aspects of cognition and behavior, including how such processes develop and change in the brain and through evolutionary time.

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s):

ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

AWARD INFORMATION

PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

B. Budgetary Information

C. Deadline/Target Dates

D. FastLane Requirements

PROPOSAL REVIEW INFORMATION

AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION





TABLE OF CONTENTS



SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
  3. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION
  4. AWARD INFORMATION
  5. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
    1. Proposal Preparation Instructions
    2. Budgetary Information
    3. Deadline/Target Dates
    4. FastLane Requirements
  6. PROPOSAL REVIEW INFORMATION
    1. NSF Proposal Review Process
    2. Review Protocol and Associated Customer Service Standard
  7. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
    1. Notification of the Award
    2. Award Conditions
    3. Reporting Requirements
  8. CONTACTS FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
  9. OTHER PROGRAMS OF INTEREST




I. INTRODUCTION

The National Science Foundation announces a new emphasis in the area of Cognitive Neuroscience within the Division of the Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences in the Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences.

Cognitive neuroscience has emerged in the last decade as an intensely active and influential discipline, forged from interactions among the cognitive sciences, neurology, neuroimaging (including physics and statistics), physiology, neuroscience, psychiatry, and other fields. Of particular importance for this discipline have been new methods for non-invasive functional neuroimaging of humans performing psychological tasks. As this field is reaching maturity, the National Science Foundation intends for the new cognitive neuroscience emphasis to spur the development of highly novel techniques and models directed toward enabling basic scientific understanding of a broad range of issues involving brain, cognition, and behavior. The emphasis at NSF will be placed on integration of the cognitive sciences, basic sciences, and engineering in service of insights into healthy functions of brain, cognition, and behavior.

The cross-disciplinary integration and exploitation of new techniques in cognitive neuroscience has generated a rapid growth in significant scientific advances. Research topics have included sensory processes (including olfaction, thirst, multi-sensory integration), higher perceptual processes (for faces, music, etc.), higher cognitive functions (e.g., decision-making, reasoning, mathematics, mental imagery, awareness), language (e.g., syntax, multi-lingualism, discourse), sleep, affect, social processes, learning, memory, attention, motor, and executive functions. Cognitive neuroscientists further clarify their findings by examining developmental and transformational aspects of such phenomena across the span of life, from infancy to late adulthood, and through evolutionary time.

New frontiers in cognitive neuroscience research have emerged from investigations that integrate data from a variety of techniques. One very useful technique has been neuroimaging, including positron emission tomography (PET), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), magnetoencephalography (MEG), optical imaging (near infrared spectroscopy or NIRS), anatomical MRI, and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). A second class of techniques includes physiological recording such as subdural and deep brain electrode recording, electroencephalography (EEG), event-related electrical potentials (ERPs), and galvanic skin responses (GSRs). In addition, stimulation methods have been employed, including transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), subdural and deep brain electrode stimulation, and drug stimulation. A fourth approach involves cognitive and behavioral methods, such as lesion-deficit neuropsychology and experimental psychology. Other techniques have included genetic analysis, molecular modeling, and computational modeling. The foregoing variety of methods is used with individuals in healthy, neurological, psychiatric, and cognitively-impaired conditions. The data from such varied sources can be further clarified by comparison with invasive neurophysiological recordings in non-human primates and other mammals.

Findings from cognitive neuroscience can elucidate functional brain organization, such as the operations performed by a particular brain area and the system of distributed, discrete neural areas supporting a specific cognitive, perceptual, motor, or affective operation or representation. Moreover, these findings can reveal the effect on brain organization of individual differences (including genetic variation), plasticity, and recovery of function following damage to the nervous system.

Hypotheses springing from the data of a cognitive science, social, developmental, or life span study can now in some instances be constrained by brain-based data. Strategies for collecting brain-based data that bear on cognitive/behavioral hypotheses include but are not limited to the following four examples. Other powerful strategies are expected to evolve in future.