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Cognitive and Neurobiological Approaches to Plasticity

Cognitive & Neurobiological Approaches to Plasticity

Contact information

Kansas State University
Department of Psychological Sciences
492 Bluemont Hall
1114 Mid-Campus Drive
Manhattan,KS 66506
Phone: (785) 532-6850

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Overarching Aims

In addition to pursuing research in the domain of plasticity, the overarching aims of the CNAP COBRE are to:

Develop independent, high impact and high quality research projects that will promote R01 or comparable award success for COBRE project leaders

CNAP has supported five research projects throughout our Phase 1 COBRE award, four at K-State and one at Wichita State University, that have worked toward achieving this goal. Two projects examine cognitive and neurobiological aging in humans with a goal of promoting healthy aging and maintenance of everyday abilities. Two further projects examine the neurobiology of reward and decision in rodent models to better understand factors involved in neuronal plasticity in the reward and decision pathways. One project aims to develop a model of neural systems that control reward-seeking and motivated behaviors in zebrafish, leading to a better understanding of addiction and how substance abuse affects brain plasticity. 

Expand the capability to pursue research in cognitive/neural plasticity through targeted hiring of new CNAP members 

New faculty and post-doctoral recruits at K-State have expanded CNAP research capabilities and will ensure sustenance and growth of the center, as well as enrichment of the research climate. 

Expand and improve research infrastructure through expanding/developing three multi-user core laboratory facilities

Facility developments thus far (all at K-State) have included modernizing and expanding functionality of the Behavioral Neuroscience Core, building a new Neuroinformatics Core, and developing a new Electroencephalography Core. The cores provide direct support for the primary projects, pilot grants, and other CNAP programs and are available for use by faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students for conducting research within the CNAP domain. The cores promote synergy and cohesiveness by directly supporting the cross-cutting research theme development which is designed to enhance collaborative research bridging animal model and human translational research on common cognitive and neurobiological processes.

Enhance the research climate and productivity of CNAP center members through strengthening and expanding our Scientific Exchange Network

This program provides faculty, post-doctoral researchers, and graduate students with access to core facilities and training that will increase their capability to secure extramural funding. The Scientific Exchange Network increases the connections of K-State and other institutions which host CNAP researchers with nearby universities and other neuroscience COBRE centers. As a part of the program, we host joint mini-conferences for showcasing CNAP research, share research with major figures in relevant fields, disseminate research across the network and spark further synergy and collaboration across institutions.

Our goal is to develop a thriving thematic research center that will greatly advance the understanding of neural and cognitive mechanisms of plasticity. CNAP will attract substantial extramural funding, provide a pathway to independent extramural center grant funding, and promote a rich research climate at K-State and our partner institutions.