A panel of experts on the neuroscience will present their findings from study tours of top European and Asian labs in a workshop to be held at the National Science Foundation on May 23, 2014 from 8:00 to 4:00 pm.

To register for the workshop click here.


The purpose of this paper is to propose a concept for a WTEC international assessment of research on the computational aspects of biomedical imaging for a broad range of neurological disabilities. The goals include bringing back the most promising research themes to the U.S.

While the sciences have made tremendous progress in uncovering the physical etiology of various disorders, the brain and nervous system remain incredibly complex systems. This study seeks to explore recent research on how mathematical and computational research methods might be applied to the raw data received from medical imaging to search for complex patterns of neural activation and other biological markers.

This proposed study on neuroscience R&D builds on WTEC international studies of R&D on mobility for people with disabilities, on brain-computer interfaces, and on R&D for human-robot interactions, which is focused on rehabilitation robotics.

The mobility study was recently conducted by a panel of seven experts chaired by David Reinkensmeyer. They visited some 25 labs in Europe in October, 2010, and presented initial findings at a public workshop at NSF on November 15-16, 2010. Funding was provided by several programs in the NSF Engineering Directorate. The Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Institute of Bioimaging and Biomedical Engineering also participated. In-kind support has also come from the intramural research program of the National Institutes of Health. More information is available at

A second study, on Human-Robotic interaction, is being conducted by a panel of six experts chaired by Manuela Veloso. They visited laboratories in Asia during October 16-22, 2011, and presented their initial findings at a public workshop at NSF on December 2, 2011. Funding is being provided by several programs in the NSF Computer and Information Sciences (CISE) Directorate and in the Engineering Directorate (ENG). More information is at


This concept paper presents a brief plan by which WTEC offers to conduct an international assessment of the current status and trends in research focused on neural imaging. The objectives of this assessment would be to:

  • Guide and justify U. S. research investments;
  • Look for good ideas abroad (technology transfer);
  • Look for opportunities for cooperation and collaboration;
  • Compare U.S. R&D programs and status with those abroad.

A panel of U.S. experts, nominated by sponsoring agencies and recruited by WTEC, would conduct the study, using the WTEC methodology to carry out peer reviews of research abroad, visiting the sites of the research institutions and researchers who are noted for the most advanced work in Europe and/or Asia. The results will be presented in a (webcast) public workshop soon after the panel returns from abroad. An academic-quality final report would serve to disseminate the results widely.

A chair has tentatively been identified: Dr. Lilianne Mujica-Parodi of SUNY Stony Brook. Dr. Mujica-Parodi's laboratory, the Laboratory for Computational Neurodiagnostics, uses neural signals obtained non-invasively through imaging by functional MRI, near-infrared spectroscopy, and electroencephalography. The complexity of those neural time-series is quantified using a variety of computational techniques adapted from physics, such as power spectrum scale invariance, detrended fluctuation analysis, Hurst and Lyaponov exponents, and approximate entropy. Deviations from the critical degree of chaos can be used diagnostically in conjunction with classification algorithms, to identify risk for illness even before a system has degenerated sufficiently to show onset of symptoms. Application of graph theory and other connectivity techniques can permit identification of the circuit-wide basis for this dysregulation, which in turn will be used for developing treatment targeted to these specific circuits.

A chair's meeting is tentatively scheduled for February, 2012 to organize the study with prospective sponsors.

See more information here




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(links to the webcast are in the upper-right corner of this page)


About NSF
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2009, its budget is $9.5 billion, which includes $3.0 billion provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to over 1,900 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 44,400 competitive requests for funding, and makes over 11,500 new funding awards.MORE


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