The objective of the proposed predoctoral training program is to train the next generation of behavioral science researchers to skillfully incorporate neuroscience perspectives and methods into their programs of research, based on an understanding of brain structure and function that extends across traditional areas of behavioral research. The Behavioral Brain (B2) Research Training Program has the specific aim of annually providing 8 graduate student trainees committed to research at the interface of the behavioral and brain sciences with foundational training in neuroscience methods and perspectives, through coursework and laboratory-based research experiences. Over the course of two years of support typically occurring early in the graduate career, trainees also will receive deep training in behavioral science research, via courses and independent programs of research. Finally, we aim for continued infusion of cross-cutting perspectives, through co-mentoring, laboratory rotation experiences, and program forums that foster exposure to behavioral and brain science research. We believe that basic research focused on the interface between behavior and the brain is crucial for understanding the mechanisms and treatment of a large number of human health issues that cut across NIH Institutes. Because NIGMS has a broad mission, it is a natural home for a training program that aims to bridge behavioral and biomedical approaches across traditionally separate lines of inquiry in the behavioral sciences. By focusing upon the brain as a common substrate, we believe progress in different subfields of behavioral research can be most effectively integrated, thus leveraging advances in one area into other domains of study. This training program focuses on three major research themes to accomplish integration: Representation & Communication; Evaluation & Control; Learning, Memory, & Plasticity. The training program is jointly coordinated by the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. Situated within blocks of one another and possessing excellence in both behavioral research and neuroscience, the institutions share a long history of collegiality and cooperation in graduate training that can be leveraged to broaden and deepen the neuroscience training of the next generation of behavioral science students.
Program Narrative Basic research focused on the interface between behavior and the brain is crucial for understanding the mechanisms and treatment of a large number of human health issues. This training program aims to provide graduate students committed to research at the interface of the behavioral and brain sciences with foundational training in neuroscience research methods and perspectives, through coursework and laboratory- based research experiences.
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