"The response was overwhelming. The agency had expected to fund about 12 grants, but decided to triple that number after receiving nearly 600 applications," said James Deshler, deputy director of the NSF's division of biological infrastructure.
The wide-ranging list of winning projects includes mathematical models that help computers recognize different parts and patterns in the brain, physical tools such as new types of electrodes, and other tools that integrate and link neural activity to behavior. "Most of the projects are very high-risk," Deshler added. The agencies participating in the BRAIN Initiative have taken markedly different approaches. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which received $50 million this year for the neuroscience program, is concentrating on prosthetics and treatments for brain disorders that affect veterans, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. It has already awarded multi-million dollar grants to several teams.
The National Institutes of Health which received $40 million this year has put together a 146-page plan to map and observe the brain over the next decade, and will announce its first round of grant recipients next month, the Nature report said. (IANS)