NIH requests input on non-invasive brain imaging techniques

June 24, 2008 -- The NIH Blueprint seeks input on new approaches to non-invasive imaging of brain structure and function -- particularly molecular imaging and neural connectivity imaging -- by August 1.

June 24, 2008 -- The NIH has issued a time-sensitive request for information (RFI) with a goal of determining how best to accelerate research in non-invasive imaging of human brain structure and function; the deadline is August 1, 2008. The agency encourages comments pertaining to emerging capabilities and technologies related to human brain imaging, from molecular imaging to neural connectivity imaging--and input should be pertinent to the interests of one or more of the NIH Neuroscience Blueprint Institutes.

The work of interest to the NIH Neuroscience Blueprint can encompass multiple levels of analysis, e.g. from molecules to cell activity to neural connections, using multi-modality approaches with the ultimate goal of non-invasive imaging of human brain structure and function. The goal of this RFI is to identify brain imaging capabilities that are in the early phase of development, or do not yet exist but are on the horizon, that could significantly advance understanding of human brain structure and function.

To assist in identifying scientific opportunities in new approaches to enhance and extend the capabilities of non-invasive human brain imaging, the participating NIH Blueprint Institutes and Centers request responses to these questions:
-- What new imaging capabilities would most significantly advance our understanding of brain structure and function?
-- What emerging technologies are poised for rapid advancement or are on the horizon that could enhance non-invasive imaging of brain at various levels of analysis, e.g. from molecular to neural connectivity?
-- Are there emerging non-invasive brain imaging methods that would enable increased spatial and temporal resolution, and/or provide quantitative measures of brain structure and function?
-- Are there specific scientific impediments to research on non-invasive imaging of human brain structure and function, particularly at different levels of analysis? If so, what tools and resources are needed to overcome these impediments?

The goal of the NIH Blueprint is to create research tools, resources and infrastructure that will better serve the neuroscience community. The following websites provide overviews of the NIH Blueprint initiatives already underway, many of which are useful to researchers studying brain function using imaging technologies:

Read the full request at, and send responses to no later than August 1, 2008.

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