Skip to content

Behavioral Science and Integrative Neuroscience Research Branch


This Branch supports innovative research — including empirical, theoretical and modeling approaches — on cognitive, social, arousal, regulatory, and positive and negative valence systems, and their development across the lifespan in humans and in non-human model systems. Research approaches proposing to test specific hypotheses on neurobiological bases of behaviors and those which seek to look at the interaction between and among these domains of functioning are of particular interest.

Interdisciplinary research that integrates a variety of approaches employed by neuroscience, the behavioral science, genetics and computational modeling communities to investigate the linkages across 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. 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 and/or sex differences for specific topic areas is of particular interest, as these are important for the ultimate understanding of the etiology of psychiatric disorders and for the development of improved treatments and interventions. Research supported by this branch informs the efforts of the NIMH’s Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project, and encourages basic studies that address gaps in our understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying deficits in cognitive, social and affective behaviors and the existing domains of function.

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 also 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 National Advisory Mental Health Council Report on Setting Priorities for Basic Brain and Behavioral Science Research at NIMH.

Acting Branch Chief

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

Areas of Emphasis

See specific program descriptions.