NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research (http://neuroscienceblueprint.nih.gov)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
All applications to this funding opportunity announcement should fall within the mission of the Institutes/Centers. The following NIH Offices may co-fund applications assigned to those Institutes/Centers.
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR)
The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to seek input from the scientific community on four affiliated measurement systems/measures for discussion at the upcoming NIH Toolbox Assessments Conference: the NIH Toolbox®, the NIH Infant and Toddler Toolbox (NIH Baby Toolbox), Mobile Toolbox, and MyCog. The NIH Toolbox® and NIH Baby Toolbox both were developed under the aegis of the National Institutes of Health Blueprint for Neuroscience Research (Blueprint), a collaboration among 14 participating NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices to support cross-cutting funding programs to advance research on the nervous system.
In 2004, the14 Institutes, Centers and Offices at NIH that support neuroscience research formed a coalition called the Blueprint for Neuroscience Research. The NIH Blueprint goal was to develop new tools, resources, and training opportunities to accelerate the pace of discovery in neuroscience research. Because the research community had long sought the development of standard instruments to measure neurological and behavioral health, in 2006 the NIH Blueprint awarded a contract to develop an innovative approach to meet this need. A team of more than 250 scientists from nearly 80 academic institutions were charged with developing a set of state-of-the-art tools to enhance data collection in large cohort studies and to advance the neurobehavioral research enterprise. The NIH Toolbox® is an integrated set of tools for measuring cognitive, emotional, motor and sensory function. These tools were created for use with diverse cultures, ethnic and geographic groups, ages, and study types. The NIH Toolbox® is administered via iPad in English or Spanish and is validated and normed for use with individuals ages 3-85.
The NIH Infant and Toddler Toolbox (NIH Baby Toolbox) is in development as a neurodevelopmental measurement tool that will be targeted for both research and clinical use in children 1 to 42months of age and primarily include direct/objective child assessment but also parent/guardian report, where appropriate. The NIH Baby Toolbox is being designed largely from existing, published, and validated tests and protocols that have been used and accepted in the cognitive-, social-, behavioral-, and neuroscience-developmental fields. As planned, the NIH Baby Toolbox will be inexpensive to obtain, easy to administer within a relatively brief time frame appropriate to the population being studied, and able to capture multiple domains of neurodevelopment. These domains include: Cognition & Executive Function, Language, Numeracy/Early Mathematics, Self-Regulation, Social Functioning, and Motor. This work represents an extension of the current and widely used NIH Toolbox® for Assessment of Neurological and Behavioral Function suite of assessment tools for use in persons 3 years to 85 years of age. The NIH Baby Toolbox is being developed for use with an iPad and utilizes built-in eye-tracking and short clips of video recording to enable accurate, objective scoring and reaction times. The complete battery will be made available for assessment in both English and Spanish. Full public release of the NIH Baby Toolbox is scheduled to take place in 2024.
The Mobile Toolbox delivers cognitive and other health measures developed by content experts and validated for remote administration using a smartphone platform. This library of digital measures is derived from well-established measurement systems such as the NIH Toolbox®, Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS®), and International Cognitive Ability Resource (ICAR). The Mobile Toolbox will partner with REDCap and their companion MyCap App as the study management and administration partner for the Mobile Toolbox measures. Validity evidence has been obtained from healthy adults ages 20-85 and from clinical samples, including persons at risk for mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's disease, cognitively impaired, and those with Parkinsons disease. Convergent validity studies were performed using gold standard measures. Mobile Toolbox data, collected from community-dwelling adults ages 20-85 who were representative of the 2020 U.S. Census for gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and level of education, will be used for creation of normative scores. Full public release of the Mobile Toolbox is scheduled to take place in 2024.
The MyCog project addresses the unmet clinical need for a brief and standardized set of cognitive impairment (CI) screening measures that are suited for use in diverse settings and with diverse populations. The MyCog screener will be comprised of two cognitive measures drawn from the NIH Toolbox® and the Everyday Cognition self- and informant-report measures. Available as a downloadable app, MyCog will be validated in a large and diverse sample of adults (ages 65+) who are enrolled in the LitCog Study of Health Literacy and Cognitive Function among Older Adults. In addition to this validation among populations with varying levels of health disparities, it will be an important component of the MyCog project to optimize the screener for use in primary care settings. MyCog has seen limited release and is available for clinical use.
On April 8 and 9, 2024, the NIH Blueprint, the National Institute on Aging (NIA), and the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) will host an in-person conference, with live videocast for remote viewing of select sessions, to highlight and share advancements and features of four affiliated measurement systems/measures: the NIH Toolbox®, the NIH Infant and Toddler Toolbox (NIH Baby Toolbox), Mobile Toolbox, and MyCog.
The purpose of this conference is to bring together the NIH community, extramural investigators, clinicians, and other stakeholders to learn about neurological and behavioral measures and measurement systems supported through NIH funding including recent updates, improvements, and adaptations.
The Blueprint is interested in feedback from the scientific community regarding the four measurement systems that will be discussed during the conference in order to ensure a robust discussion of lessons learned, best practices, and a future vision to keep these tools dynamic and relevant for end-users from multiple disciplines.
Comments to the RFI can include but are not limited to the following topics:
How to Submit a Response
All comments must be submitted electronically to: NIHMeasuresConference@nih.gov. Please include the Notice number "NOT-AG-23-076" (without the quotes) in the subject line. Responses to this RFI will be accepted through March 8th, 2024. Responders are free to address any or all the topics listed above and/or to provide feedback on other relevant issues. The submitted information will be reviewed by NIH staff.
This RFI is for information and planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of the Federal Government, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), or individual NIH Institutes and Centers. The NIH does not intend to make any awards based on responses to this RFI or pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the Government's use of such information. No basis for claims against the U.S. Government shall arise as a result of a response to this request for information or from the Governments use of such information.
NIH will use the information submitted in response to this RFI at its discretion and will not provide comments to any responders submission. However, responses to the RFI may be reflected in the upcoming NIH Toolbox Assessments conference and/or future planning activities. The information provided will be analyzed and may appear in reports. Respondents are advised that the Government is under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of the information received or provide feedback to respondents with respect to any information submitted. No proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should be included in your response. The Government reserves the right to use any non-proprietary technical information in any resultant solicitation(s).
Matt Sutterer, Ph.D.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)