This COBRE application will form a unique, thematic research center on Cognitive and Neurobiological Approaches to Plasticity (C-NAP). Four primary research projects bridge areas of excellence in the Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience programs at Kansas State University (KSU) and the Human Factors program at Wichita State University (WSU). The projects examine cognitive/neural plasticity across the lifespan, utilizing basic and translational/applied approaches in humans and animal models. The ultimate goal is to determine the mechanisms involved in cognitive and neural plasticity to improve functioning. This goal is highly relevant to the NIH core mission ?to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.? Three research core facilities will support the research projects and programs, a Behavioral Neuroscience Core (KSU), a Neuroinformatics Core (KSU), and a Driving Simulator Core (WSU), supplying unique research infrastructure resources within the State of Kansas. The success and growth of C-NAP will be enabled through: (1) a faculty mentoring program that will provide high-quality research mentoring by nationally-recognized researchers. The mentoring team will support all aspects of research program and grant application development to promote success in securing R01-level funding by each of the project leaders; (2) new faculty recruitment at KSU and WSU to ensure growth and longevity of C-NAP and vibrant usage of the core facilities; (3) a pilot grant program that will stimulate center growth by funding projects at universities in the region; (4) a post- doctoral training program that will provide multi-disciplinary training along cross-cutting themes that bridge core facilities and projects, coupled with creating pathways to independence; (5) a scientific exchange network (SEN) that will provide training opportunities and access to additional core facilities with the goal of promoting the research productivity and success of the COBRE core projects, pilot projects, post-doctoral and graduate student trainees, and associated C-NAP faculty. Initial partners include the Hoglund Brain Imaging and K-INBRE centers at the University of Kansas Medical School, COBRE centers at North Dakota State University and the University of Nevada-Reno, the small-animal imaging core at KSU, and the Envision Research Institute in Wichita. The SEN will grow and expand to other nearby universities and research centers (e.g., University of Kansas-Lawrence, University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Nebraska- Lincoln, the University of Oklahoma, and the Traumatic Brain Injury Unit at Ft. Riley) providing rich opportunities for promoting the growth of research programs. The C-NAP center will host mini-conferences in Years 3 and 5 that will include participants from C-NAP projects, programs, and SEN members to showcase and share research with investigators from outside of the network, promoting the national reputation of C-NAP.

Public Health Relevance

Changes that occur in the brain as a function of growth, aging, or experience are referred to collectively as plasticity. Plasticity is essential for adaptive behaviors, and is essential for healthy functioning. This COBRE application will form a thematic center focused on Cognitive and Neurobiological Approaches to Plasticity (C- NAP). C-NAP researchers will study plasticity in humans and animal models using basic and translation/applied research techniques, supported by three multi-user core facilities. The overarching goal of the center will be to understand the mechanisms of cognitive/neural plasticity and to promote healthy functioning.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1)
Program Officer
Gao, Hongwei
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Kansas State University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
Zip Code
Wukitsch, Thomas Joseph; Reinhardt, Emily Kae; Kiefer, Stephen W et al. (2018) Voluntary ethanol consumption during early social isolation and responding for ethanol in adulthood. Alcohol :
Pajser, Alisa; Breen, Morgan; Fisher, Hayley et al. (2018) Individual differences in conditioned fear are associated with levels of adolescent/early adult alcohol consumption and instrumental extinction. Behav Brain Res 349:145-157