An award has been made to the Center for Neural Science (CNS) at New York University that will provide research training for 10 weeks for 10 students, during the summers of 2010-2014. Students will conduct research in neural science -- the study of the biological basis of human nature. Students will use their basic knowledge in biology, mathematics, physics and chemistry and apply them to solving research problems needing a multidisciplinary approach. A wide variety of projects are available, ranging in scale from the molecular to cellular, from neuronal network to behavior. Examples of questions students can investigate include: how individuals learn and memorize; what parts of the brain are activated while risky versus carefully calculated decisions are made; how attention modifies perception; how neonatal sensory experience affect mental capacities in adulthood, etc. Students are selected based on their desire to partake in basic research, as well as a match between their expressed topic of interest and those of mentors. Mentors are coached on techniques of effective mentoring prior to students' arrival. The summer begins with an orientation week, during which time students receive lectures on the subject of ethics and responsible conduct of research. These topics recur during weekly discussions. Each student is trained on skills of scientific writing and oral presentation. Students also learn a unique set of scientific skills and become familiar with the literature pertinent to the host lab's research activity. Students have access to equipment such as the fMRI, confocal and electron microscopes, or behavioral testing apparatus. Multiple social events are scheduled, to promote interactions among students and mentors, and individuals participating in other NYC summer programs. Students' satisfaction with the program and progress are assessed through three mechanisms: weekly group discussions; written assessments on week 3; and web-based tool developed by NSF's BIO-REU. Upon graduation, students are contacted bi-annually by the PI, to track their career paths. More information is available by emailing the PI, Chiye Aoki ( or, or visiting the website,

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI)
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Sally E. O'Connor
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New York University
New York
United States
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