There is a long tradition at CMU of striving for complete cognitive models to account for a wide range of phenomena using a small common set of theoretical assumptions. Our training program is the only one focused on training cognitive modeling skills. The Combined Computational and Behavioral Approaches to the Study of Cognitive Neuroscience (T32) has the specific aim of providing pre and postdoctoral trainees with the ability to formalize their theories about the mechanisms underlying normal and abnormal cognitive behavior and brain functioning. We will provide trainees with opportunities to conduct state of the art behavioral studies, neuro-imaging studies and build computational models that predict as well as account for behavioral and neuroscience data of cognitive tasks. The methodologies that the training faculty exploit to further our understanding of cognition include fMRI, ERP, psychopharmacological interventions and eye- tracking as well as reaction time and other behavioral studies in combination with computational modeling. Many of these methodologies are used in combination. In addition, the trainees will have the opportunity to rotate into the lab of a medical scientist who conducts cognitive neuroscience research concerned with one of several different types of mental disorders: autism, bi-polar, depression, or schizophrenia. The collaboration among trainee, mentor and clinical researcher will result in the opportunity to test theories of normal behavior with special populations as well as providing useful exposure for the trainees concerning the nature of cognitive and mood disorders. The goal of this proposal is primarily to train the next generation of computational modelers of cognition and cognitive brain function;however, the collaborative work on formal models of disordered cognition as a limiting case in cognitive neuroscience has the promise to bring synergy to both enterprises and move the theoretical work forward in both disciplines. The exciting aspect of this proposal is that it will not only train young researchers to appreciate clinical-cognitive issues and expose them to translational research but it promises to foster synergistic collaborations that have the potential to provide new insights into both normal functioning or treatments for patients who are suffering. We request two years of support for 2 predoctoral and 2 postdoctoral fellows appointed each year.

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-ERB-Z (02))
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Desmond, Nancy L
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Carnegie-Mellon University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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