NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research: Functional Neural Circuits of Interoception (R01, Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health

The NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research is a collaborative framework through which 14 NIH Institutes, Centers and Offices jointly support neuroscience related research, with the aim of accelerating discoveries and reducing the burden of nervous system disorders (for further information, see

The goal of this FOA is to enhance our fundamental understanding of interoception with a specific focus on dissecting and determining the function of neural circuits that connects peripheral organs/tissues with the central nervous system (CNS) via peripheral ganglia. For this FOA, interoception science includes studies of the processes by which an organism senses, interprets, integrates, and regulates signals originating from within itself. This FOA encourages projects that combine diverse expertise and use innovative approaches to delineate interoceptive mechanisms at the molecular, cellular, circuitry, functional, and/or behavioral levels. Outcomes of this research will lay a critical foundation for future translational and clinical research on interoception as well as its roles in nervous system disorders. Studies of interoceptive neural circuits exclusively within the CNS may be more appropriate for The BRAIN Initiative funding opportunities. Applications in response to this FOA should budget for an annual investigator meeting organized by the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research. Human subject research is not allowed for this FOA.


  • Letter of Intent Due Date(s): November 18, 2020
  • Application Due Date(s): December 18, 2020

​RFA-AT-21-003 Expiration Date December 19, 2020

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

1) A systematic understanding of how different temporal aspects of stimulation paradigms such as frequency, duration, amplitude, polarity, directionality, and pulse shape interact with endogenous neural activity and neural oscillatory patterns to exert acute and/or lasting effects on CNS function, locally and in distributed networks.  Potential approaches could include considerations of spike-field coherence patterns, phase-amplitude coupling, or other aspects of neural functioning.

2) A systematic understanding of how different spatial aspects of stimulation paradigms such as coil design, electrode configuration, and transducer design interact with local anatomy to influence spatial targeting and neuromodulatory effects on CNS function.

3) A systematic understanding of how contextual aspects of neuromodulation paradigms such as the physiological state of the targeted brain area or distributed network prior to and during stimulation, concomitant CNS acting medications, and/or simultaneously applied cognitive/behavioral tasks or interventions influence the acute and/or lasting effects of neuromodulation on CNS function.

4) A systematic test of the interactions between the temporal, spatial, and contextual aspects of stimulation paradigms.  A specific example would be an examination of resonance frequencies of different cortical and subcortical areas during rest as well as during effortful, goal-directed tasks in response to neuromodulation.

5) An understanding of how task-specific circuits are modulated differently by the same stimulation parameters.  For example identical stimulation parameters applied to the same brain area might have very different effects on ongoing endogenous activity depending on whether the subject is engaged in a task utilizing non-spatial working memory versus a spatial navigation task.

6) An understanding of what parameters lead to shorter and/or longer-duration changes in network activity.

7) An understanding of how the effectiveness of modulation parameters varies with brain maturation (children, adolescents, older adults vs. young adults), sex, and cognitive-affective state. These variables may also play a role in effectiveness of exogenous stimulation/modulation.



Amount Description

Application budgets need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project. The budgets are limited to $375,000 direct costs annually.

The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period. The maximum project period is 5 years.

Funding Type





Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

December 18, 2020