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News Release 17-075

NSF funds new multidisciplinary approaches to study the brain

$16 million for cross-cutting research into neural and cognitive systems

Bat vocalization

Humans and other animals raise their voices when trying to be heard over noise. It's a split-second feat, from ear to brain to vocalization. Johns Hopkins University researchers are measuring how fast it happens in bats.

Credit: Johns Hopkins University


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person with a bat

Cynthia Moss holds a big brown bat in her laboratory flight room at Johns Hopkins University.

Credit: Homewood Photography


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computation

Recording electrical signals from many neurons at once can be noisy. Il Memming Park of SUNY at Stony Brook and Alexander Huk of University of Texas at Austin are looking at the trajectories of neural activities in lower dimensional space to understand the dynamics that drive neural computation. Shown here is a 3-D projection of the trajectories of neural activities in a monkey's primary visual cortex.

Credit: Il Memming Park, Stony Brook University


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rat

Researchers study rat whiskers to learn how the brain combines information about movement and touch. Shown here is a laboratory rat exploring with its whiskers. Mitra Hartmann of Northwestern University and Sarah Bergbreiter of University of Maryland, College Park will develop artificial whiskers of multiple lengths to better understand how animals sense their environments.

Credit: Hartmann Laboratory, Northwestern University


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brain

Edward Boyden of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Albert-Laszlo Barabasi of Northeastern University will use expansion microscopy of C. elegans, combined with live imaging and computational modeling, to analyze entire C. elegans nervous systems. Shown here are mouse brain cells labeled with Brainbow and visualized with expansion microscopy.

Credit: Ed Boyden, MIT


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people reading a book

Marc Coutanche, Melissa Libertus and Julie Fiez of the University of Pittsburgh discuss their new research on the integration of visual and semantic number knowledge in the brains of children and adults.

Credit: Learning Research and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh


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