Affective science is concerned with emotions and emotion-related phenomena such as moods, emotional traits, and emotion-based pathology. Given that over 80% of mental disorders involve emotion disturbances, it is evident that affective science is central to the mission of NIMH. Rapid growth in the field of affective science has been accompanied by scientific specialization that has had both benefits and costs. Among the benefits are increasingly mature theories and an explosion of methodological advances and empirically-derived knowledge concerning aspects of affect ranging from molecular to molar levels. Among the costs are increasingly narrow training and growing isolation among areas of specialization, resulting in basic affective scientists who are less aware of the larger applied context, and applied affective scientists who are less aware of work on basic processes. This multi-university training program is predicated on the idea that fostering an appreciation and understanding of the theories, methods, and data of areas of affective science beyond one's own area of specialization lays the groundwork for better communication among subspecialties, more interdisciplinary collaborations, and stronger bidirectional links between basic science and clinical translation. The training faculty are specialists in all aspects of affect, including neurobiological, psychological, developmental, and social methods. Since its inception, the training program has nurtured the development of a highly productive group of researchers, including some of the leading scientists in affective science. This revised application builds on the rich legacy of this program and presents a highly focused training program designed to train the next generation of affective scientists. Four new predoctoral trainees will be selected each year - one from each of the four participating Bay Area universities (Stanford University and the Berkeley, Davis, and San Francisco campuses of the University of California). Trainees will participate in a two-year training sequence. Training will take place in a year-long seminar at Berkeley, specialized methods workshops led by training faculty across the four campuses, a structured research rotation in a laboratory outside each trainee's own laboratory, and an annual conference/workshop where trainees'research findings are shared and discussed. Close mentoring and monitoring of trainee progress will be maintained throughout. This training program provides clear added value for trainees, faculty, and departments/universities. The added value of this program flows from (1) exposure to state-of-the-art methods, (2) interactions among trainees and faculty, (3) opportunities for professional development, and (4) cross-fertilization across research programs, laboratories, departments, and universities. The training and resources provided by this program are designed to promote exceptional productivity and academic success among trainees.

Public Health Relevance

This predoctoral Affective Science Training Program draws upon the specialized knowledge and methodological expertise of 32 faculty spanning four Bay Area universities (Stanford University and the Berkeley, Davis, and San Francisco campuses of the University of California). The focus of this Training Program is the application of affective science to mental health,. The goal of this two-year intensive training program is to train a new generation of affective science researchers who will conduct cutting edge research and will apply this new knowledge as they address a range of mental health issues.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1)
Program Officer
Chavez, Mark
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University of California Berkeley
United States
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