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DARPA launches Targeted Neuroplasticity Training program to accelerate cognitive skills training

--TNT technology will be designed to safely and precisely modulate peripheral nerves to control synaptic plasticity during cognitive skill training.

– TNT tech­nol­o­gy will be designed to safe­ly and pre­cise­ly mod­u­late periph­er­al nerves to con­trol synap­tic plas­tic­i­ty dur­ing cog­ni­tive skill train­ing.

Boost­ing Synap­tic Plas­tic­i­ty to Accel­er­ate Learn­ing (DARPA news):

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:

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Categories: Cognitive Neuroscience, Education & Lifelong Learning, Technology

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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