BRAIN Initiative - Brain Behavior Quantification and Synchronization (BBQS)

image of person and animals in a circle around a brain

Goals and Objectives

The two BRAIN Initiative 2.0 reports ("The BRAIN Initiative 2.0: From Cells to Circuits, Toward Cures" and "The BRAIN Initiative and Neuroethics: Enabling and Enhancing Neuroscience Advances for Society") highlight that a critical step forward is to study “the brain in action,” including efforts to develop “tools to analyze naturalistic (untrained) and trained behaviors” and “to assimilate and link brain recordings with behavior” (p. 34 of "The BRAIN Initiative 2.0: From Cells to Circuits, Toward Cures"). Matching the scientific rigor and precision of measurements of brain activity with equally precise, temporally dense measurements of the functional output of the brain, as expressed in a broad range of behaviors, will accelerate the discovery of brain-behavior relationships in both health and disease. Achieving a comprehensive understanding across these levels of analysis demands the same level of rigor, precision of measurement, and temporal resolution across all levels.

At present, tools for measuring behavior in humans and other species lack the necessary precision and resolution to fully capture behavioral dynamics synchronously with data from the environment with which the organism is interacting and which shapes the behavior under study. To address this gap, the BRAIN Initiative BBQS funding opportunities support 1) development of tools for simultaneous, multimodal measurement of behavior within complex, dynamic physical and/or social environments and align these data with simultaneously-recorded neural activity; and 2) development of novel conceptual and computational models that capture dynamic behavior-environment relationships across multiple timescales and that can integrate correlated neural activity into the model. Potential applicants and others interested are encouraged to visit the NIH BRAIN Initiative website for information and guidance https://www.braininitiative.nih.gov/funding/initiatives.htm.

Additional Information

Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): BRAIN Initiative: Developing Data Archive, Informatics Tools and Data Standards for Brain Behavior Quantification and Synchronization (BBQS) NOT-MH-23-115

The purpose of this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) is to encourage new applications for developing informatics infrastructure for the Brain Behavior Quantification and Synchronization (BBQS) research program of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative. Specifically, the NOSI supports a) creation of data archive(s) to store and manage BBQS-relevant data; b) development of computational tools or software for analyzing, visualizing and integrating BBQS-related data, and for predicting and modeling the complex dynamics of the brain-behavior system; and c) establishment of data standards or ontologies that support the BBQS-related studies. 

For the full notice see NOT-MH-23-115 

BRAIN issues a new funding opportunity for the development of technologies to understand behavior at the organismal level

This funding opportunity, with the next due date of February 14, 2023, is part of the Brain-Behavior Quantification and Synchronization (BBQS) program. It will support the development of research projects aimed at advancing approaches for high-resolution synchronized capture of complex behavioral and environmental data and development of computational models of behavior as a complex dynamic system.   

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently issued the funding opportunity announcement (FOABRAIN Initiative: Brain-Behavior Quantification and Synchronization (BBQS) – Transformative and Integrative Models of Behavior at the Organismal Level (R34 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) [RFA-DA-23-030]. This BBQS funding opportunity will support planning activities that will lay the groundwork for a scientific project aimed at 1) integrating and advancing approaches for high-resolution capture of multiple dimensions of behavior at the organismal level, as well as dynamic features of the organism’s environment and 2) developing computational approaches that integrate multidimensional behavioral and environmental data across multiple time scales with the aim of modeling behavior as a complex dynamic system.  

Interested in learning more about this FOA or BBQS? Contact the BBQS team at brainbbqs@od.nih.gov

BRAIN issues new funding opportunity for the development of cutting-edge tools to understand the neural basis of behavior in humans

Since 2014, The BRAIN Initiative® has aimed to accelerate the development and application of innovative neurotechnologies that enable researchers to understand the human brain. A major gap in our understanding of the human brain is a paucity of tools to better link patterns of neural activity to patterns of behavior. Establishing a clearer causal link between neural activity and behavior will ultimately lead to new ways to treat and prevent brain disorders.  

The National Institutes of Health recently issued the BRAIN Initiative: Brain Behavior Quantification and Synchronization (BBQS) (R61/R33 Clinical Trial Optional) [RFA-MH-23-335] to support the development of cutting-edge tools for simultaneous, multimodal measurement of behavior within complex environments and integration of these tools with simultaneously recorded brain activity in humans. 

Interested in learning more about this funding opportunity announcement (FOA)? If you want to learn more about BBQS, please contact the BBQS team at brainbbqs@od.nih.gov