“The body’s branching network of peripheral nerves connects neurons in the brain and spinal cord to organs, skin, and muscles, regulating a host of biological functions from digestion to sensation to locomotion. But the peripheral nervous system can do even more than that…pushing those limits further, DARPA aims to enlist the body’s peripheral nerves to achieve something that has long been considered the brain’s domain alone: facilitating learning. The effort will turn on its head the usual notion that the brain tells the peripheral nervous system what to do.
The new program, Targeted Neuroplasticity Training (TNT), seeks to advance the pace and effectiveness of a specific kind of learning—cognitive skills training—through the precise activation of peripheral nerves that can in turn promote and strengthen neuronal connections in the brain. TNT will pursue development of a platform technology to enhance learning of a wide range of cognitive skills…If successful, TNT could accelerate learning and reduce the time needed to train foreign language specialists, intelligence analysts, cryptographers, and others.
The program is also notable because, unlike many of DARPA’s previous neuroscience and neurotechnology endeavors, it will aim not just to restore lost function but to advance capabilities beyond normal levels.”
Solicitation: Targeted Neuroplasticity Training (TNT)
- Description: The Biological Technologies Office (BTO) of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is sponsoring a Proposers Day for the potential proposer community in conjunction with the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the Targeted Neuroplasticity Training (TNT) Program. The Proposers Day will be held on April 8, 2016, at the Westin Arlington Gateway, 801 N. Glebe Rd., Arlington, VA, 22203. Advance registration is required.
- The goals of the Proposers Day are:
1. To introduce the science and technology community (industry, academia, and government) to the TNT program vision and goals;
2. To facilitate interaction between investigators who may have interests and capabilities of relevance to TNT goals; and
3. To encourage and promote teaming arrangements among organizations having relevant expertise, research facilities and capabilities for executing research and development responsive to the TNT program goals.
To learn more about neuroplasticity, learning and cognitive skills: