Special Session #4: NIH NIMH Program Information

Yvonne Bennett

Program Officer, Brain Initiative Team Co-Lead,
NIMH Office of Technology Development and Coordination,
National Institutes of Health

Brain-Behavior Quantification and Synchronization (BBQS) ProgramSensor Technologies to Improve Our Understanding of Complex Behavior


The Brain Initiative (www.braininitiative.nih.gov) has a new program-  the Brain Behavior Quantification and Synchronization (BBQS) program,  to support the development of novel sensors and related bioelectronic devices.   The goals of the program are to develop high resolution tools and analytic approaches to quantify behaviors as a multi-dimensional response to the environment and synchronize these with simultaneously recorded brain activity.   It is our hope that investigators will use this multidimensional data to build new conceptual and computational models of behavioral systems, to establish causal brain/behavior relationships and enable closed loop interventions.   We also hope to establish cross-disciplinary consortia to develop and disseminate new tools, ontologies, research designs, and ethical frameworks to transform mechanistic brain-behavioral research.  Several facets of the current BBQS human, animal and informatics programs  (RFA-MH-22-240 , RFA-DA-23-030 , RFA-MH-23-130)  and  future BBQS Sensors program will be described:  from large interdisciplinary projects, to smaller device development and integration with data streams, as well as other potential activities that will support this research area.


Yvonne Bennett is a Program Officer in the National Institute of Mental Health in the Office of Technology Development and Coordination. Most recently she has been named a Brain Initiative Team Co-Lead for the invasive neurotechnology portfolio, and planned the Brain Behavior Quantification and Synchronization Sensors Workshop held in May 2023 at the NIH.  Her portfolio covers MR image acquisition and analysis, electrophysiology, informatics with the NIMH Data Archive, and multimodal studies in humans and animal models.

She has been at the NIH for ~20 years with prior work as a Scientific Review Officer at the Center for Scientific Review (10 years), and as Chief of Audiology in the NIH Clinical Center with the National Institute on Deafness & Other Communication Disorders.  Her research background spans cochlear electrophysiology and micromechanics, auditory evoked potentials, diffusion tensor imaging in individuals with hearing loss and tinnitus, as well as work with MEG and fMRI protocols.  Yvonne was a Mirzayan Policy Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences with work in noise control policy;  she served at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office as a Patent Examiner; and is a licensed audiologist in the State of Maryland.  She received her M.S.E. and Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania in bioengineering, MS. in Audiology from Syracuse University,  and a B.S. in electrical engineering from Union College.