BRAIN Initiative announcements

The list of this round of BRAIN Initiative awards from the NIH has been released. MyCousinAmygdala – who may or may not actually be Krang –  made this word cloud (excluding words like “brain”). Score one for the public university system in California, right? But note also the lack of words like “cognition”. These are not all the awards, of course – there’s a lot of NSF awards as well as DARPA, though I can’t find a complete list of those.

But this should give a good idea of what the initiative is actually interested in (apparently, people named “John”.)

If you’re especially curious, there’s a livestream of the announcements and White House press conference today at 3:30 PM EST.

What is popular in top neuroscience?

As a reminder, here is the list of the top 10 most cited neuroscience papers from the last ten years:

1. EEGLAB: an open source toolbox for analysis of single-trial EEG dynamics including independent component analysis.

2. Epigenetic programming by maternal behavior.

3. Expanded GGGGCC Hexanucleotide Repeat in Noncoding Region of C9ORF72 Causes Chromosome 9p-Linked FTD and ALS.

4. Epigenetic regulation of the glucocorticoid receptor in human brain associates with childhood abuse.

5. Suppression of basal autophagy in neural cells causes neurodegenerative disease in mice.

6. Mutations in FUS, an RNA processing protein, cause familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis type 6.

7. Microglia: active sensor and versatile effector cells in the normal and pathologic brain.

8. Separate neural systems value immediate and delayed monetary rewards.

9. The neural basis of economic decision-making in the ultimatum game.

10. TDP-43 mutations in familial and sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

You can also go back to my previous post and see the longer (and more detailed) list of most-cited papers from the last ten years.

I made some word clouds! I took my database and removed words like “neuroscience”, “neuron”, “cells”, etc. Here are the most common words from the top 100 most cited papers of the last ten years:

Here are the next 100:

and then 200-500:

therest_neuroscienceI don’t trust the data to go down any further. The lesson here is if you want an incredibly well-cited paper, work on human cognition! If you just want a really well-cited one, you can work on mechanisms, circuitry, or stem cells.  And unless you are working on the hippocampus, definitely don’t refer to what region of the brain you are studying unless you just want a pretty well-cited paper.

So much for making explicit that you work on rats and mice; people only want to know if you are working on humans or AIs!