PIRE-PICCS

Programa PIRE de Neurociencia Cognitiva, Computacional y de Sistemas


Abstract

Imaging Sciences. PIRE funding will provide access to an outstanding European laboratory network. Fostering collaboration and education is an important objective. The PIRE program will catalyze new projects on noninvasive functional imaging of auditory and multisensory brain areas in nonhuman primates, and on quantitative model-based integration of EEG and fMRI to investigate human object recognition. The scientific focus is on the processing of multimodal information at the scale of the whole cortex. This means integrating various signals in order to perform a task, such as sensory stimuli together with memory and/or attention. Successful interaction between different mental representations of the environment and objectives is crucial for cognition. How cortical areas practically communicate to make a decision depending on the task has been the subject of intense research recently. Thanks to progress in imaging techniques, uncovering the neural information flow is becoming possible. It focuses on three subprojects that investigate various aspects of multimodal information integration in the cortex: 1) investigate the respective roles of auditory cortical areas for sound-object recognition; 2) establish and characterize the multisensory pathways and behavioral contexts in posterior parietal cortex neurons for space-time coordinated orientation; and 3) uncover computational neural mechanisms underlying human object recognition where the social context matters.

Junior scientists, graduate students from the Neuroscience, and advanced Neurobiology and Cognitive Science undergraduates will be trained and co-mentored by world-class European scientists. The PIRE grant will enable the students to learn new approaches to Neuroscience research, which they would otherwise not be able to acquire. In addition to laboratory research, the students will participate in graduate courses that are offered by the foreign institutions’ graduate schools and Max Planck International Schools. A PIRE Summer School will be created, in which all European and US collaborators and students participate at alternating locations to discuss and advance their joint projects. These largely education meetings will promote cohesion of the collaborative consortium and aid in the integration of all participants into a global team. The latter will also be supported by cyber-learning infrastructures, which are already in place at the US partner institutions and will be expanded significantly as part of this PIRE project, in order to create an international remote learning network. This component will permit participants both in Europe and U.S. to simultaneously be in the same classrooms and laboratories. A team of experienced evaluators independent of the project investigators will monitor PIRE success. As the ultimate goal, the creation of a joint international degree program is envisioned. In summary, a vast network of education and research opportunities will become available for junior researchers and students, via the proposed PIRE project. The project will establish a homogeneous international training program, which can serve as an innovative, long-term model for global research and education.

Collaborators

International researchers involved in this project are:

Europe: 

  • Arthur Konnerth, MD PhD, Director, Institute for Neuroscience, Technical University Munich, Germany
  • Katrin Amunts, MD, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany
  • Karl Zilles, MD PhD, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany
  • Nikos Logothetis, PhD, Director, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany
  • Helmuth Adelsberger, PhD, Institute of Neuroscience, Technical University, Munich, Germany
  • Alexander Eduard Drzezga, MD, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Technical University, Munich, Germany
  • Olga Garaschuk, PhD, Institute of Physiology, Ludwig-Maximilians- University, Munich, Germany
  • Benedikt Grothe, PhD, Director, Department of Biology II (Neurobiology), Ludwig Maximilian- University Munich; Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology, Munich-Martinsried, Germany
  • Franz Hofmann, MD, Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Technical University, Munich, Germany
  • Knut Holthoff, PhD, Institute of Neuroscience, Technical University, Munich, Germany
  • Uwe Ilg, PhD, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University of Tübingen, Germany
  • Reinhard W. Köster, PhD, Institute of Developmental Genetics, GSF- National Research Center for Environment and Health, Munich, Germany
  • Thomas Misgeld, MD, Institute of Neuroscience, Technical University, Munich, Germany
  • Michael Schemann, PhD, Chair, Humanbiology Department, Technical University, Munich, Germany
  • Markus Schwaiger, MD, Director, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Technical University Munich, Germany
  • Peter Thier, MD, PhD, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University of Tübingen, Germany
  • Simon Thorpe, PhD, CNRS Research Director, Brain & Cognition Research Centre, Toulouse, France
  • Gabriella Ugolini, MD PhD, Lababoratoire de Neurobiologie Cellulaire et Moléculaire, CNRS, Gif-sur- Yvette, France
  • Gustavo Deco, PhD, Prof., Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, ICREA, Barcelona, Spain

From the US:

  • Josef P. Rauschecker, PhD (PI), Department of Physiology & Biophysics, Georgetown University
  • Werner M. Graf, MD PhD (Co-PI), Department of Physiology & Biophysics, Howard University
  • M. Diane Clark, PhD, Dept of Educational Foundations and Research, Gallaudet University
  • Guinevere Frauke Eden, PhD, Center for the Study of Learning, Georgetown University
  • Stanley Thomas Fricke, PhD, Department of Neuroscience, Georgetown University
  • Karen Gale, PhD, Department of Pharmacology, Georgetown University
  • James W. Gnadt, PhD, Department of Physiology & Biophysics, Howard University
  • Jagmeet Kanwal, PhD, Department of Physiology & Biophysics, Georgetown University
  • Kebreten F. Manaye, MD, Department of Physiology & Biophysics, Howard University
  • Mortimer M. Mishkin, PhD, Chief, Laboratory of Neuropsychology, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda
  • Martin Morad, PhD, Department of Pharmacology, Georgetown University
  • Joseph Neale, PhD, Department of Biology, Georgetown University
  • Michael Neuman, PhD, University Information Services, Georgetown University
  • Peter Pfeiffer, PhD, Department of German, Georgetown University
  • Maximilian Riesenhuber, PhD, Department of Neuroscience, Georgetown University
  • William Southerland, PhD, Center for Computational Biology & Bioinformatics, Howard University
  • Veronica G. Thomas, Department of Human Development and Psychoeducational Studies, Howard University
  • John VanMeter, PhD, Center for Functional and Molecular Imaging, Georgetown University
  • Stefano Vicini, PhD, Department of Physiology & Biophysics, Georgetown University
  • Jian-young Wu, PhD, Department of Physiology & Biophysics, Georgetown University

Funded by: Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness

Project number: PCIN-2015- 079