The research projects proposed in the COBRE Center for Neuromodulation involve a broad range of neuroimaging and neuromodulatory methods, and often involving clinical participants or those with neuropsychiatric pathology. Neuroimaging methods include task- and resting state MRI, and stimulation methods include single pulse and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation or transcranial direct stimulation. These techniques are, by their nature, highly complex and require significant technical mastery to successful deploy them in clinical populations. This problem is significantly prominent for relatively junior investigators or those new to these fields. The function of this COBRE Neuroimaging and Neuromodulation Core (NNC) is to provide ongoing expert support, training, assistance and advice to the COBRE project leaders in the wide-range of practical aspects of implementation, data collection, and management related to these methods. Therefore, the Specific Aims of the NNC are to (1) provide support, training and assistance to COBRE Project Leaders (PLs) to promote and facilitate the acquisition of high quality neuroimaging data; (2) provide support, training and assistance to COBRE PLs to facilitate the application of high quality neuromodulation; and (3) to establish core resources with a trajectory toward self- sustaining and enduring status that will serve the larger neuromodulation research community in Rhode Island. To meet these aims, the NNC of this COBRE Center will provide highly specialized expertise, hands-on training, educational forums, and assistance in numerous aspects of protocol implementation, data acquisition and resources as required to meet the aims in each COBRE project and the unique needs of neuromodulation investigators. It will offer critical laboratory space, equipment, infrastructure, and medical supervision needed by investigators working with clinical samples. By meeting these goals, the NNC will (a) accelerate the pace of high-quality mechanism-oriented COBRE research; (b) facilitate the use of safe and scientifically rigorous stimulation protocols; (3) ensure the availability and accessibility of high quality research infrastructure over time for COBRE investigators and the broader Rhode Island research community.
The Neuroimaging and Neuromodulation Core (NNC) will facilitate the research goals of COBRE Project Leaders and pilot grant investigators, and will benefit the broader neuromodulation research community by providing expert support, training, assistance, and advice to its constituents in the practical aspects of implementation, data collection, and project management related to neuroimaging and neurostimulation methods. The NNC was created to address a critical need, namely, to provide Project Leaders with unique resources, skills, and support for using the best methods and practices surrounding neuroimaging and neuromodulation in clinical neuropsychiatric populations. The NNC will provide key services for all three research projects and create an enduring resource that offers neuromodulation researchers a series of educational seminars, hands-on workshops and customized training opportunities, high-level consultative and medical input, and use of a specialty research facility at Butler Hospital with lab space, equipment, and medical support. !