Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - IBSEN (Investigations in Brain Sciences and Education Network)

This project had several goals. The first was to establish active research collaboration between a neuroscientist working in the United States of America and the Institute of Technology and Advance Bio-imaging (ITAB) of the University of Chieti.

Dr Corbetta had an international reputation in the field of cognitive neuroscience, particularly in relation to brain imaging research, while ITAB was one of the European centres specialised in multi-modal imaging research and was especially competent in the field of medical physics, mathematics and modelling. Dr Corbetta was interested in learning magneto-encephalography, a method for mapping brain activity at high temporal and good spatial resolution, while researchers at ITAB were interested in Dr Corbetta's biological expertise.

This first goal was clearly achieved, since several studies were completed and published in high profile journals, or were in the process of being published by the time of the project completion. Two principal results were obtained. Firstly, we demonstrated the key role of regions of parietal cortex in decision-making and attention. Secondly, we were able to image for the first time, through a combination of different imaging and electrophysiological methods, functional interactions between different regions of the human brain at rest, as well as to show that these functional interactions were influenced by prior individual experience.

The second project goal was educational, related to the exposure of Chieti students to a different style of mentorship involving one-to-one or small groups' sessions in which research results were weekly discussed. The chair also taught more traditional lectures to the entire institute and widely lectured in Europe, United States of America and Asia over the three years of the project.

A final significant goal was to pilot a school of neuroscience in which theoretical lectures were combined with hands-on tutorials. This goal was also achieved, with the school being entitled 'Large scale neural communication in brain's health and diseases' and hosting about 50 students from 13 participating countries and approximately 15 faculty members who spent five days in a historical village on the Apennine mountains in central Italy.

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