The purpose of this proposed R25 NIH Research Education Grant is to continue supporting a highly successful ten-day intensive summer training workshop in the event-related potential (ERP) technique. This technique is widely used to measure the time course of brain activity across a range of basic science and clinical science domains. The workshop is intended for beginning and intermediate ERP researchers, and it will provide them with training in the essential aspects of the ERP technique, giving them a solid foundation for conducting research on normal and abnormal functioning of the mind and brain. The project director is a well-established researcher and educator who has experience addressing both basic science and clinical science questions with the ERP technique. The workshops will be held at the Center for Mind &Brain at UC-Davis, the home of a large and vibrant community of ERP researchers. In addition to the project director, eleven faculty from UC-Davis and three faculty from other universities will serve as the faculty for the yearly workshops. The workshop participants will come from a variety of disciplines, including cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience, clinical psychology, experimental psychopathology, neurology, psychiatry, developmental psychology, gerontology, speech pathology, and reading disorders. This multi-disciplinary group of participants reflects the broad use of ERPs across the many domains that focus on neural and mental functioning. The participants will also represent a variety of career stages, including graduate and medical students, postdocs, residents, junior faculty, and senior faculty, which reflects the fact that the ERP technique is now being adopted by people at all career stages. The workshop will involve a combination of lectures, discussions, and laboratory activities. An integrated set of lectures on the fundamentals of ERP research will be given by the project director. Lectures on special topics, including advanced techniques and applications to clinical populations, will be given by the other faculty. Several small-group discussions will also be included, led by the workshop faculty, that will focus on the methods used in previously published ERP papers. A series of guided lab activities will also be included. Significant outreach and dissemination efforts will spread the educational benefits of this workshop to a broader group of researchers. These efforts are based on a web site, http://erpinfo.org, which provides lecture notes, information about methods, data analysis software, and sample datasets to the worldwide research community. The ultimate goal of this project is to increase the quality and quantity of future ERP research so that this important technique can have a greater impact on scientific progress in the many basic science and clinical disciplines that focus on the human mind and brain.
Disorders of mind and brain are prevalent, can be personally devastating, and lead to a substantial economic burden. The event-related potential technique provides a powerful means for understanding these disorders, beginning with basic science research on normal brain function and ending with biomarkers that are used in discovering and testing new treatments. The proposed workshop seeks to enhance the ability of basic and clinical scientists to use this powerful technique, thereby increasing the rate of scientific discovery and treatment development.
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