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NIMBioS Investigative Workshop

Neurobiology of Expertise

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Topic: Dynamical neurobiological bases of expert performance

Meeting dates: March 11-13, 2015

Location: NIMBioS at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Frederick Gregory, Neurophysiology of Cognition, U.S. Army Research Office
Virginia Pasour, Biomathematics, U.S. Army Research Office

Objectives: Network sciences and complex systems theory provide exemplar mathematical formalisms to approach the analysis of multimodal and highly complicated neuroscience datasets. This investigative workshop aims to synthesize these and other state of the art applications of mathematics in order to systematize and unify multidisciplinary and multiscale work on expert human performance. The workshop will bring together researchers from multiple disciplines in order to better understand the existing mathematical challenges and explore new directions in modeling genomic to behavioral signatures of performance in humans and animal models for perceptual, motor and analytical expertise domains. Workshop goals are to identify challenges and frontiers in mechanistic modeling, prediction, signal processing and machine learning as well as novel neurotechnologies for data acquisition in order to facilitate uncovering the underlying neural mechanisms of expertise. This investigative workshop will bring together top researchers from diverse fields to share insights and methods and address long-standing and emerging conceptual problems.

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Evaluation Report

Neurobiology of Expertise WordPress site

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Playlist of online videos. Selected presentations were available for viewing via live streaming during the workshop and have been archived for online viewing.

Brain image. Summary Report. TBA

Workshop Products


Volz LJ, Welborn BL, Goebel MS, Gazzaniga MS, Grafton ST. 2017 Egoistic Altruism: a modality dependent framework for moral decision making. PNAS. Submitted.


Grafton ST (Program Director), Strick PS, Graybiel A, Daw N, Bassett DB. Neural Foundations of Expertise Based on Optimal Decision-making, Physical Control and Responses to Stress. (Multi-University Research Investigation). Army Research Office. $1,200,000/yr. Awarded.

NIMBioS Investigative Workshops focus on broad topics or a set of related topics, summarizing/synthesizing the state of the art and identifying future directions. Workshops have up to 35 participants. Organizers and key invited researchers make up half the participants; the remaining participants are filled through open application from the scientific community. Open applicants selected to attend are notified by NIMBioS within two weeks of the application deadline. Investigative Workshops have the potential for leading to one or more future Working Groups. Individuals with a strong interest in the topic, including post-docs and graduate students, are encouraged to apply. If needed, NIMBioS can provide support (travel, meals, lodging) for Workshop attendees, whether from a non-profit or for-profit organization.

A goal of NIMBioS is to enhance the cadre of researchers capable of interdisciplinary efforts across mathematics and biology. As part of this goal, NIMBioS is committed to promoting diversity in all its activities. Diversity is considered in all its aspects, social and scientific, including gender, ethnicity, scientific field, career stage, geography and type of home institution. Questions regarding diversity issues should be directed to You can read more about our Diversity Plan on our NIMBioS Policies web page. The NIMBioS building is fully handicapped accessible.

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From 2008 until early 2021, NIMBioS was supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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