Full Text PA-94-059


NIH GUIDE, Volume 23, Number 16, April 29, 1994

PA NUMBER:  PA-94-059

P.T. 34

  Emotional/Mental Health 

National Institute of Mental Health
National Institute on Aging
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development


Under this program announcement, the National Institute of Mental
Health (NIMH), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), and the
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
invite research grant applications to expand basic research on the
processes and mechanisms involved in the experience and expression of


The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health
promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000,"
a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas.  This program
announcement, Basic Research in Emotion, is related to the priority
area of mental health and mental disorders.  Potential applicants may
obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" (Full Report:  Stock No.
017-001-00474-0) or "Healthy People 2000" (Summary Report:  Stock No.
017-001-00473-1) through the Superintendent of Documents, Government
Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325 (telephone 202-783-3238).


Applications may be submitted by public and private non-profit and
for-profit organizations such as universities, colleges, hospitals,
laboratories, research institutions, units of State or local
governments, and eligible agencies of the Federal Government.
Foreign institutions are not eligible for First Independent Research
Support and Transition Award (FIRST) (R29) awards.  Women and
minority investigators are encouraged to apply.


In order to encourage increased research, applications are requested
under the following mechanisms:  research project grant (R01), small
grant (R03, NIMH only), and FIRST award (R29).  Eligibility and
requirements for different funding mechanisms vary.  Applicants are
advised to contact NIMH, NIA, or NICHD program staff listed under
INQUIRIES for additional information and specific application

For research in method development, the small grant (R03) is a
particularly appropriate mechanism; investigators may also choose to
include method development as one component within research project
grant (R01) applications.

Support may be requested for a period of up to five years, except for
small grants (R03), which are limited to two years.  FIRST awards
must be requested for five years.  Annual noncompeting awards will be
made subject to continued availability of funds and progress


The study of emotion encompasses a wide range of psychological,
social, and biological phenomena, including subjective feeling
states, characteristic expressive signals, and alterations in
physiology.  The neural correlates of emotion and the role of
cognitive processing in emotion also are important objects of study.
In addition, the study of emotion includes overt behavioral responses
such as aggression or withdrawal, interpersonal relationships and
communication, and environmental circumstances and experiences that
elicit and shape emotion.

Recent years have shown the rapid expansion of concepts and methods
for studying emotion in all of its aspects.  Outlined in this program
announcement are current needs that build on these advances and that
constitute critical components of a comprehensive basic research
strategy, with the ultimate aim of fostering mental health and the
understanding of human development.  These needs include a fuller
description of the basic mechanisms of emotions and moods and the
evolution of individual differences in emotional experience and
expression.  They include developmental approaches that incorporate
examination of both phylogenetic and ontogenetic processes and that
expand their focus to cover the lifespan.  They call for new and
increasingly precise methods and techniques for assessing emotion and
its subjective, expressive, autonomic, and neural components.
Finally, they explicitly consider both genetic and experiential
factors in shaping emotional processes central to mental health, and
take seriously the complex interactions and interrelationships that
exist among social, psychological, and biological processes.  Sample
research questions are provided for illustrative purposes; they are
not intended to be exhaustive.

Basic Mechanisms of Emotion

To foster the rapid and orderly accumulation of knowledge related to
emotion, it is important that common criteria be adopted for defining
emotion and its constituent components.  The definition of the limits
of "normal" emotion, in contrast with emotional responses seen in
mental disorder, also is critical.  A more detailed understanding is
needed of the interplay between emotion and cognition that can inform
conceptualizations of disorders in which impairments of both emotion
and cognition are apparent (e.g., schizophrenia, depression), as well
as provide data important for promoting emotional self-regulation and
the voluntary control of emotional reactions.  Sample research
questions include, but are limited to, the following:

o  What are the necessary criteria that define emotion?  Must the
subjective, expressive, and physiological components always be
present for emotion to occur?  What is the timing among the
components?  What are the biological or psychological consequences of
the inhibition of one or more components?

o  What are the continuities across, and distinctions among, the
phenomena of reflex, emotion, mood, emotional trait, and emotional
disorder?  What social, psychological, and biological factors mediate
their interrelationships?

o  What are the connections and bifurcations between normative
emotional processes (e.g., emotional development, expression,
understanding, awareness, communication) and psychopathology or

o  How does attention act to sustain or interrupt emotional states?

Individual Differences

Research is suggesting that emotion-based individual differences may
mark specific vulnerabilities to mental disorder; the detailed
examination of these individual differences is critical for
understanding etiology and for designing prevention efforts.  In-
depth study is needed of the determinants, consequences, and sequelae
of infant temperament.  Research in adult personality variation also
is beginning to examine individual differences in emotional
responsivity, with some indications of connections to physiology.
Sample research questions include, but are not limited to, the

o  What are the biological and experiential sources of individual
differences in emotional reactivity and regulation?

o  How do individual differences in emotionality relate to phenomena
such as activity level, attention, and cognitive processes?  What are
the neural substrates that underlie relationships among such

o  What biological, social, and cognitive factors interact with
emotion-based individual differences to contribute to

Developmental Aspects

Data are accumulating rapidly in areas such as children's
understanding and experience of emotions, and in emotional
communications occurring between parents and children beginning in
the earliest weeks of life.  The impact and import of findings
related to the development of emotions would be well served by an
overarching theoretical framework specifying the ontogeny of emotion.
Also, the primary concentration to date on the early years of life
needs to be broadened to include focused attention on adolescence,
adulthood, and old age.  Sample research questions include, but are
not limited to, the following:

o  Are connections among subjective, expressive, and physiological
components of emotion present at birth?  Do they change with age,
particularly during periods of dramatic change (e.g., adolescence)?

o  What are the determinants, age-specific characteristics, and
consequences of emotional attachments across the lifespan?  What are
the parallels among attachment patterns in infancy, in adolescence,
in adulthood, in old age?

o  What affective processes are relevant to coping with events in the
family life cycle, e.g., marriage, transition to parenthood, aging,
dealing with death and bereavement?

Social Aspects

The quality of interpersonal relationships can play a significant
role in the development of mental disorder.  Further, in the presence
of mental disorder, one's own and others' emotional reactions to the
disorder itself can contribute to stigmatization that influences the
probability of help-seeking as well as commitment to treatment.
Similarly, the accuracy with which emotional signals are perceived
and interpreted by others is a likely factor in the recognition of
mental disorder and in the assessment of symptom improvement.  In
addition to the need for further research on these interpersonal
aspects of emotion, it is very important to examine the
macro-environmental processes (e.g., culture, social structure, the
media) that help to shape emotional norms.  Sample research questions
include, but are not limited to, the following:

o  How do cultural and socialization processes influence the
experience and expression of emotion, and what are the limits of this
influence?  How do salient social contexts in particular
developmental stages (e.g., in adolescence:  solitude, romantic
and/or sexual relationships, neighborhoods) shape affective
development and expression?

o  What are the dynamics of emotional communications occurring within
families and other intimate groups?  How do patterns of emotional
communication relate to the development, maintenance, or erosion of
emotional bonds and attachments?

o  How does parental behavior (e.g., teaching, limit- setting)
influence the development of affect regulation in children?

Biological Aspects

Research has suggested that emotional experiences can be potent
regulators of physiological homeostasis.  The study of emotion
provides a valuable opportunity for examination of the interplay
between psychological, physiological, and neural processes, and
methods are increasingly becoming available for examining the
substrates of emotion in both the central nervous system (CNS) and
autonomic nervous system (ANS).  Sample research questions include,
but are not limited to, the following:

o  What are the bidirectional influences between emotional states or
emotional traits (e.g., temperament) and endocrine and immune
systems?  What are the neuroendocrinological mechanisms that account
for the influence of emotion on physiological regulation and

o  What are the neuroanatomical and neurochemical processes involved
in emotional states and emotion-based individual differences?  What
are the continuities and discontinuities of these processes across
the lifespan?

o  What are the comparabilities across human and non-human emotional
systems that define the limits of generalizability of animal studies
to humans?

Methodological Needs

Methods related to the study of emotion run the full range from
self-report and interview procedures to behavioral observations and
to measures of ANS and CNS structure and function.  Improvements are
needed in ways that enhance validity and efficiency of measurement
without sacrificing richness and detail. Sample needs include, but
are not limited to:

o  Most research on emotional expression concentrates on the face.
Methods also are needed to assess vocal, postural, and gestural
components of emotional expression.  Further, measures of emotion
need to be developed that can be applied across cultures and species.

o  Techniques of computer science, neural networks, and image
processing need to be applied to the task of producing valid and
reliable judgments of facial and other behavioral expressions of

o  Expanded and improved neuroimaging techniques are needed to
examine the correlates of emotion in brain function and anatomy.

o  Animal models need to be used to their fullest potential to
examine social and biological determinants and consequences of



It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups
and their subpopulations must be included in all NIH supported
biomedical and behavioral research projects involving human subjects,
unless a clear and compelling rationale and justification is provided
that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health of the
subjects or the purpose of the research.  This new policy results
from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public Law
103-43) and supersedes and strengthens the previous policies
(Concerning the Inclusion of Women in Study Populations, and
Concerning the Inclusion of Minorities in Study Populations) which
have been in effect since 1990.  The new policy contains some new
provisions that are substantially different from the 1990 policies.
All investigators should read the "NIH Guidelines For Inclusion of
Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research", which have
been published in the Federal Register of March 9, 1994 (FR 59
11146-11151), and reprinted in the NIH GUIDE FOR GRANTS AND CONTRACTS
of March 18, 1994, Volume 23, Number 11.

Investigators may obtain copies from these sources or from the
program staff or contact persons listed below. Program staff may also
provide additional relevant information concerning the policy.


Applicants are to use the grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 9/91).
Application kits are available at most institutional offices of
sponsored research and may be obtained from the Office of Grants
Information, Division of Research Grants, National Institutes of
Health, Westwood Building, Room 449, Bethesda, MD 20892, telephone
(301) 710-0267.  The number and title of this program announcement,
PA-94-059, Basic Research in Emotion, must be typed in item number 2a
on the face page of the PHS 398 application form.

FIRST applications must include at least three sealed letters of
reference attached to the face page of the original application.
FIRST applications submitted without the required number of reference
letters will be considered incomplete and will be returned without

Research applications (R01, R29, R03) will be accepted in accordance
with the receipt dates indicated in the PHS 398 application kit.  The
receipt dates for applications for AIDS-related research also are
found in the application kit.


Applications received under this program announcement will be
assigned to an initial review group (IRG) in accordance with
established PHS Referral Guidelines.  The IRGs, consisting primarily
of non-Federal scientific and technical experts, will review the
applications for scientific and technical merit.  Notification of the
review recommendations will be sent to the applicant after the
initial review.  Applications (except those for small grants) will
receive a second-level review by the appropriate National Advisory

Review Criteria

Criteria for scientific/technical merit review of research
applications will include the following:

o  Significance and originality from a scientific or technical
standpoint of the goals of the proposed research
o  Adequacy of the methodology proposed to carry out the research
o  Feasibility of the proposed research
o  Qualifications and research experience of the principal
investigator and other key research personnel
o  Availability of adequate facilities, other resources, and
collaborative arrangements necessary for the research
o  Appropriateness of budget estimates for the proposed research
o  Adequacy of inclusion of women and minority subjects
o  Adequacy of provisions for the protection of human subjects and
the welfare of animal subjects, as applicable.


Applications recommended by the appropriate National Advisory Council
will be considered for funding on the basis of overall scientific and
technical merit of the research, as determined by peer review,
Institute program needs and balance, and availability of funds.


Written and telephone inquiries are encouraged.  The opportunity to
clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is welcome.

Address inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Lynne C. Huffman, M.D.
Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Science
National Institute of Mental Health
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 11C-10
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-3942
FAX:  (301) 443-4822

Richard Nakamura, Ph.D.
Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Science
National Institute of Mental Health
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 11-102
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-1576
FAX:  (301) 443-4822

Ronald P. Abeles, Ph.D.
Behavioral and Social Research Program
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Room 533
7201 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-3136
FAX:  (301) 402-0051

Deborah Claman, Ph.D.
Neuropsychology and Neurosciences Program
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Room 3C-307
7201 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-9350
FAX:  (301) 496-1494

Sarah L. Friedman, Ph.D.
Human Learning and Behavior Branch
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Building 6100, Room 4B05
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-6591
FAX:  (301) 402-2085

Norman A. Krasnegor, Ph.D.
Human Learning and Behavior Branch
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Building 6100, Room 4B05
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-6591
FAX:  (301) 402-2085

G. Reid Lyon, Ph.D.
Human Learning and Behavior Branch
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Building 6100, Room 4B05
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-6591

Address inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Diana Trunnell
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Mental Health
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 7C-08
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-3065

Vicki Maurer
Grants Management Office
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Room 2N-212
7201 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-1472

Donald Clark
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 8A01C
Rockville, MD  20852
Telephone:  (301) 496-5001


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance 93.242, 93.281, 93.282, 93.865, and 93.866.  Awards made
under authorization of the Public Health Service Act, Title IV, Part
A (Public Law 78- 410, as amended by Public Law 99-158, 42 USC 241
and 285) and administered under PHS grants policies and Federal
Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 42 CFR Part 66.  This program announcement
is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of
Executive Order 12372, as implemented through DHHS regulations at 45
CFR Part 100, or Health Systems Agency review.


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