Obama announced his BRAIN initiative at the White House Tuesday Morning.
Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN), would allocate $100 million of the president's 2014 budget to helping America stay on top of brain research and development.
University of Montana Professor and Director of the Neuroscience Center Michael Kavanaugh said that advancing optical techniques (technology used to see real-time imaging of the working brain) could help scientists understand the full relationship of neural receptors in the brain when people exhibit certain types of behavior.
"When we have a good understanding of what actually happens at a cellular level and a molecular level, then we have a better, um. We have a potentially better way to understand what happens when those processes are disrupted. For example, Alzheimer's."
Kavanaugh went on to say that the technologies his lab is using are just coming online (widely used) right now. He believes now is the prime time for Obama to start an initiative like this.
"I think America is still very much a leader in brain research. But I fear that there is a frustration that scientists face, that its becoming harder to do the research. So much of our time is being spent writing grants. More time writing grants and less time on the actual research. It's frustrating."
The BRAIN initiative is being supported by many federal and private research institutions.
The National Institutes for Health (NIH) wants to provide approximately $50 million, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has promissed about $40 million and the National Science Foundation (NSF) will support this initiative with somewhere around $20 million.
It's up to congress now to decide if there is that kind of room in the 2014 budget for the initiative.