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Brain Imaging Clinical Research Program

Overview

This program supports research directed toward developing a mechanistic understanding of the neural bases of mental disorders in adults at the circuit level, drawing heavily on the use of a wide variety of state-of-the-art neuroimaging methods. Applications will generally employ various neuroimaging modalities and/or electrophysiological, cognitive neuroscience, and genetic methodologies, to elucidate how the relevant neural systems contribute to the etiology and pathogenesis of adult mental disorders. These approaches may also be used in connection with therapeutic interventions to increase our understanding of the impact of treatments on neural circuitry and delineate their mechanisms of action.

Areas of Emphasis

  • Identification of intermediate phenotypes of adult mental disorders, including imaging and neurocognitive phenotypes that may prove useful for subtyping disorders, elucidating shared and unique neural signatures across disorders, and exploring novel treatment targets.
  • Elucidation of the developmental trajectories of adult mental disorders, e.g., from prodrome to acute disease states (episodes and remissions), progression to chronic disease, remission or recovery, and relapse.
  • Identification and refinement of biomarkers of illness and treatment responses for human applications.
  • Establishment of relationships between genetic variations and imaging and cognitive findings and phenotypes (e.g., imaging genetics) in adult mental disorders.
  • Development and application of novel imaging approaches and computational methods for elucidating the neural bases of behaviors, symptoms, and cognitive features of adult mental disorders.
  • Investigation of potential experimental therapeutic uses of neuroimaging and related techniques (e.g., use of real-time fMRI or other techniques for circuit retraining, such as noninvasive brain stimulation) to treat adult psychopathology.

Contact

Judith M. Rumsey, Ph.D.
Program Chief and Special Advisor for Brain Imaging Research
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7123, MSC 9632
301-443-9264, jrumsey@mail.nih.gov