On November 7, 2013, DARPA announced a programming focus related to the BRAIN Initiative -- Restoring Active Memory (RAM).
Through the RAM program, DARPA seeks new methods for analysis and decoding of neural signals in order to understand how neural stimulation could be applied to facilitate recovery of memory encoding following brain injury. Ultimately, it is desired to develop a prototype implantable neural device that enables recovery of memory in a human clinical population. Additionally, the program encompasses the development of quantitative models of complex, hierarchical memories and exploration of neurobiological and behavioral distinctions between memory function using the implantable device versus natural learning and training. The period of performance for RAM awards is anticipated to be four years.
DARPA requires all proposals to address the development of a computational model of neurobiological mechanisms underlying memory in humans.
Proposers are also encouraged to address the following areas of interest:
- Portable, secure wireless prototype implantable neural device for restoration of memory encoding in human clinical populations;
- In animal testbeds, investigate multiple types of complex memories and develop novel computational models to restore memory function.
White Papers (encouraged but not required) are due by December 3, 2013 at 4:00pm EST
Full proposals are due by January 9, 2014 at 4:00pm EST
See the BAA for detailed application instructions. DARPA anticipates an allocation of $50 million in FY14 under President Obama's BRAIN Initiative. The agency has not yet specified precisely how much it will spend on this program, and all numbers are dependent on the final federal budget.
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