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Brain and Behavior Initiative (BBI)

Brain and Behavior Initiative

To solve the mystery of how the brain develops and works, we need tools and technologies to measure activity from the cellular level to complex behavior. We need to bring together engineers and material scientists with neuroscientist and psychologists to push the frontiers of measurement and assessment of brain function. The mission of the Brain and Behavior Initiative (BBI) at the University of Maryland (UMD) is to revolutionize the interface between engineers and neuroscientists by generating novel tools and approaches to understand complex behaviors produced by the human brain. Our emphasis on cross-disciplinary collaboration and investigative tool development make the BBI unique among brain initiatives: just as gene sequencing transformed the study of human evolution, new technolgies are essential in unraveling the complexity of the brain and understanding the production of behavior in health, aging, and disease. Our emphasis on the diversity of expertise -- from computer scientists to psychologists to performance artists -- will allow the BBI to break down the silos that exist amongst researchers working in isolation and create a novel and integrated understanding of human behavior. 

We will focus on the development of novel approaches to image neuronal function, the development of micro/nano system diagnostics and drug delivery technologies, and the development of big data methods in order to push the frontiers of our initial research themes that span from single neurons to mental health.