Release Date:  March 10, 1998



National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

The Cognitive Neuroscience Section (CNS), Division of Intramural Research, of the
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institutes
of Health, supports the development of virtual reality headgear and gloves that can
be used to administer cognitive and motor tasks of various kinds (headgear) and to
allow for manual responses to stimulus presentation (gloves).  Offerors shall have
design and operation experience and are capable of providing a Virtual Reality
(VR)/Virtual environment "turnkey" system including headgear, gloves, and software.
Such a system would be used for cognitive neuroscience research within the NINDS's
intramural research program.  More specifically, such a system would be used to
administer cognitive and motor tasks of various kinds (headgear) and to allow for
manual responses to stimulus presentation (gloves).  The headgear and gloves would
be used in conjunction with standard experimental cognitive and visuomotor tasks and
also be used during neuroimaging experiments for the purposes of functional
stimulation and response execution.

The VR system would consist of four components:

1.  Gloves designed with flexible sensors which can accurately and reliably measure
the position and movement of the fingers and wrist.  Additional features of the glove
would include the ability to simulate resistance at object borders during grasp of
a simulated object in the VR environment. The glove will also be used to determine
response times, posture, and movement dynamics of the fingers and hand.  Touch-
sensitive response boards will also be necessary so that a simple touch of a finger
anywhere on the board will record the contact to enable movement or response times
to be recorded complementing the basic functions of the glove in space.

2.  Headgear that can display high resolution static or dynamic images.  This device
(goggles or head-mounted) would be used to display experimental stimuli with the
option of aural accompaniment.

3.  Dedicated hardware to support the gloves and headgear. MAC, PC, SUN or Silicon
Graphics workstations would be necessary and specially configured to support the
presentation and response acquisition software.

4.  Software for the Virtual Reality (VR) system must be compatible with the
hardware.  This VR software should be able to display both static (e.g., a series of
single images, e.g., objects) and dynamic (e.g., video-like images e.g., virtual
environments such as a village or apartment) interactive stimuli.  The VR software
user interface must be designed to be user-friendly and icon based (similar to a MAC
or Windows interface).  A key design requirement is that the materials used for the
gloves and headgear must be suitable for use with functional magnetic resonance
imaging (in addition to use with PET).

Both glove and headgear will be required, furthermore, to be adapted for additional
recording devices (e.g., EMG for the cyberglove; eye movement sensor for the
headgear/goggles).  Personnel with established expertise in computer hardware and
peripheral devices, software development, computer analysis and robotics are needed.

It is anticipated that one award will be made for a period of three years in
September 1998.

The solicitation will be available electronically only.  It will be accessed at
15 or more calendar days after the issuance of this synopsis.  
Offerors are responsible for routinely checking the website for any 
possible solicitation amendments that may be issued.  
No individual notification of any amendments will be provided.  
All responsible sources may submit a proposal that will be 
considered by the agency.


Inquiries may be directed to:

Patricia S. Denney
Contracts Management Branch
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
7550 Wisconsin Avenue, Room 901, MSC 9190
Bethesda, MD  20892-9190
Telephone:  (301) 496-1813
Email:  PD22N@NIH.GOV

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

Office of Extramural Research (OER) - Home Page Office of Extramural
Research (OER)
  National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Home Page National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Home Page Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS) - Government Made Easy

Note: For help accessing PDF, RTF, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Audio or Video files, see Help Downloading Files.