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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

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Behavioral Science and Integrative Neuroscience Research Branch


This branch supports innovative basic neuroscience studies that incorporate empirical, theoretical, and computational modeling approaches to understand neural bases of cognitive, social, arousal, regulatory, and positive and negative valence systems, and their development and interaction across the lifespan in experimental systems.

Interdisciplinary research that spans levels of analysis, from behavioral to neural, is especially encouraged. Studies employing causal experimental designs to probe functions of neural circuits that subserve the core aspects of the above mentioned behavioral domains are of particular interest as are the studies that address developmental time course and/or sex differences of these functional domains. The branch encourages the application of research tools and technologies developed through the BRAIN Initiative  and Human Connectome Project  toward understanding how differences in circuitry relate to differences in brain functions and complex behaviors.  

Psychiatric diseases are characterized by their developmental time course, often striking in childhood or early adulthood, and by sex differences that convey differential vulnerability for specific diseases. Thus, basic studies within the scope of this branch that addresses the developmental time course of neural circuits and the neurobiological bases of sex differences in mental health relevant behaviors are of particular interest. We encourage the development or use of psychometrically sound behavioral assessment methods relevant to RDoC domains and constructs (PDF).

Further details concerning branch research priorities can be obtained by reviewing the descriptions of individual programs. Investigators are urged to contact the appropriate program director for specific information. Listed for each program are Areas of Emphasis. We continue to encourage innovative applications in any area relevant to the mission of the Institute. Additional information for determining the types of basic research relevant to the mission of NIMH can be found by consulting the NIMH Strategic Research Priorities.

Branch Chief

Aleksandra Vicentic, Ph.D.
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7186,

Areas of Emphasis

See specific program descriptions.