The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), NIH funded COBRE Center for Central Nervous System Function focuses on the brain processes that underlie attention, decision making and action. The COBRE Center for Central Nervous System Function is a subunit of the Carney Institute for Brain Science.
Purposeful human behavior requires attention, decisions and action, all basic functions mediated by brain networks primarily located in the neocortex but modulated and shaped by sub-cortical processing. Behavioral and brain mechanisms of attention, including vigilance, orienting and perceptual and action selection, are key gateways into high-level function. Thus, in a general and even specific sense, attention, decision making and the ensuing actions define human mental activities. Deficits in these functions are common in both neurological and psychiatric disorders and can result in a wide range of higher-order behavioral deficits. In 2013, with funding NIGMS, we established our Phase I COBRE Center at Brown University that investigated the mechanisms of higher-brain function, with a focus on attention, decision making and action and disorders that modify these key systems, using a combination of genetic, behavior, and systems neuroscience approaches. In 2018, we successfully competed for a Phase II five-year renewal, thereby extending our COBRE to 2023.
This current COBRE consists of five research projects and two Research Cores.