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Perception and Cognition

Thirty-three applications were received. Eight awards have been given to date.

Johns Hopkins University School of Education Neuro-Education Initiative (NEI)
The Neuro-Education Initiative bridges the gap between the brain sciences and education by bringing together an interdisciplinary group of researchers, educators, parents and other key stakeholders to explore the intersection, knowledge and current application of brain research in learning, and to identify and support potential areas of translational research. The NEI has established a strong collaborative network across the University, planned and conducted regional and national conferences and summits, explored research opportunities, developed and implemented academic programs and developed a communications outreach framework to effectively reach educators, parents and researchers.  Read more
Mariale Hardiman and Susan Magsamen; Johns Hopkins University School of Education

Enabling technologies for two-photon imaging of brain activity.
An immediate challenge for studies of higher brain function such as perception and cognition lies in our inability to monitor the distributed activity of large populations of cells within the intact nervous system. To help reveal the functional organization of neural circuits we are developing a custom two-photon microscope that is optimized for rapid acquisition of fluorescent signals from the intact CNS. In parallel, we are developing transgenic mice in which genetically encoded Ca2+ indicators are expressed in distinct classes of neurons and glia. The availability of these new tools will help to reveal the network dynamics that underlie essential brain functions such as perception and memory, as well as the characteristics of abnormal brain activity in disease.
Dwight Bergles, David Foster, Scot Kuo, Marshall Hussain Shuler, Eric Young, and David Yue; Departments of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering

Pattern cognition and aesthetics program
The aim of this project is to learn how brain mechanisms for pattern cognition determine the nature of aesthetic experience in art and music. The Pattern Cognition and Aesthetics program is a collaboration across five laboratories in the Schools of Medicine, Engineering and Arts and Sciences.
Ed Connor, Xiaoqin Wang, Steven Hsiao, Steven Yantis, and Charles Limb; Departments of Neuroscience, Biomedical Engineering, Psychological and Brain Sciences, and Otolaryngology

Transcranial magnetic stimulation program
The Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation program makes full use of the latest technologies that are available in order to develop the best possible tools for non-invasively investigating human neuro-anatomy and function.
John Desmond, James Pekar, Harry Charles, Reza Jalinous, Marilyn Albert and Jeffrey Yau; Departments of Neurology, Radiology, and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory

Mechanisms of proprioception and application to prosthetic hands
Proprioception, the sense of relative position and motion of the body, plays a key role in our sense of self. We are studying the neural mechanisms of proprioception and developing an artificial display for proprioception that will improve the ease and accuracy with which amputees can use next-generation prosthetic hands.
Allison M. Okamura and Steven Hsiao; Mechanical Engineering and Neuroscience 

Genetically-based technologies for the visualization of cellular and subcellular structures: a resource for the neuroscience community
The goal of this project is to develop, test, and optimize a set of genetically engineered mouse lines that will provide high quality visualization of the structure of identified neurons within the brain.
Jeremy Nathans; Molecular Biology and Genetics

F.M. Kirby Research Center for Functional Brain Imaging/7T MR Facility
Hugo Moser Research Institute at Kennedy Krieger

This facility provides the latest high field Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Spectroscopy (MRS) technologies allowing the highest possible spatial and spectral resolution for imaging the brain and spinal cord.  The BSi is requesting applications for 7T pilot studies, due April 30, 2010.  Read more
Peter van Zijl; Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences

Center for Brain Imaging Science (CBIS)
The CBIS incorporates and consolidates expertise from Hopkins’ various imaging-dedicated centers to crate a university-wide resource in the understanding and use of imaging techniques for neuroscience research.
Susumi Mori, Marilyn Albert and Michael Miller; Departments of Radiology and Radiological Science, Neurology and Biomedical Engineering