Virginia Tech Receives Grant to Study Brain Interactions during Face-to-Face Interactions

Today we get to talk about something super cool, and I’m so excited to share it with you. As everyone knows, I very much enjoy covering medical research here at GrantWatch. We do it every week, to keep our readers in the know. We also do it to show what’s possible when critical projects receive the funding that they need. Our funding source this week is the National Institute for Health (NIH), and they’re funding some key research, on my favorite topic (besides puppies), the brain. More specifically, they’re focusing on how face-to-face interactions impacts the brain. Research on the brain and its functionality is a super interesting topic, so let’s get into it.

First, let’s share a grant that’s relevant to this story: Here we have grants for USA scientists to support neurobiology research.

Let’s Talk All about This Research on the Brain

So, to begin with, brain research is obviously incredibly important. We as a civilization don’t know nearly enough about the brain, but we do know that we need to know more. Brain research can contribute to our understanding of the disease, and how it impacts the rest of the body. It can help us to understand more about mental illness, and how to help those who are suffering. It can help us to understand diseases that cause cognitive declines, like Alzheimer’s, ALS, and other similar neurodegenerative diseases. There’s so much more to learn. This research will actually focus on how face-to-face interactions impact neural activity.

So What Does This Mean?

This grant was awarded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, a part of the National Institute of Health, to Virginia Tech. This research will include monitoring the brain signals of two volunteers during face-to-face interactions. This would allow researchers to monitor the unknown complexity of brain signaling in real-time.

The headset created for this research is actually moveable, unlike typical MRIs that monitor brain activity, which makes room for future research to include babies, children and adults with movement disorders.

This kind of research could actually have a major impact because this kind of system would allow monitoring of people who were in motion as well as still, differing from current methods.

Read Montague is the principal investigator on this grant. Montague is a professor with the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and Virginia Tech College of Science’s Department of Physics and director of the institute’s Center for Human Neuroscience Research. “It is difficult to overstate the importance of face-to-face interactions for human neuroscience. Face perception is one of the most critical functions in social interactions and is one of the most vital human perceptual skills,”

We Love Hearing about Exciting Medical Research

This kind of research is very exciting. It could be incredibly impactful for public health when it comes to brain-related conditions. Obviously, this is in the early stages but it’s exciting to see that it’s receiving funding. Seeing more and more research on brain-related activity being conducted is exciting. Hopefully, in this lifetime we will see research that leads to a deeper understanding of how to mitigate and reverse neurodegenerative diseases. Furthermore, brain research like this could lead to helping us to a deeper understanding of neurological disorders like Autism. GrantWatch has a whole section dedicated to medical grants, as well as one for research!

If you have any questions regarding these grants, feel free to reach out! Visit the GrantWatch FAQs page to learn more about how to find grants in your area.

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