Special Notice DARPA-SN-11-25
Narrative Networks (N2): The Neurobiology of Narratives
WORKSHOP DATE: April 25-26, 2011REGISTRATION DEADLINE: April 15, 2011, 4:00 PM ETTECHNICAL POC: LtCol William Casebeer, DARPA/DSOEmail:DARPA-SNemail@example.com URL:http://www.darpa.mil/Opportunities/Solicitations/DSO_Solicitations.aspx.The impact of narratives on human psychology ranges widely from what events weremember most easily to our choices about important foundational behaviors to includeour degree of trust in others. Since the brain is the proximate cause of our actions,narratives have a direct impact on the neurobiological processes of both the senders andreceivers of them. Understanding how narratives inform neurobiological processes iscritical if we are to ascertain what effect narratives have on the psychology andneurobiology of human choices and behaviors, and can assist in everything ranging fromexploring how Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is influenced by event repetition to betterunderstanding the thoughts and feelings of others.To stimulate discussion and research on these issues, the Defense Sciences Office (DSO)of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is hosting a workshop,
Narrative Networks (N2): The Neurobiology of Narratives.
The workshop is intended asa sequel to one held February 28, 2011, which explored the nature of narratives, their rolein security contexts, and methods for analyzing them quantitatively. This workshop willestablish fertile ground for connecting our understanding of the neurobiology of narratives with models, simulations and sensors salient to security concerns.Accordingly, it focuses on surveying the neurobiological processes related to narratives,bridging the cognitive neurosciences and the story stimulus.This workshop has five mutually reinforcing and overlapping goals:1.
To assay narrative effects on our basic neurochemistry.
Do narrativesuniquely modulate human hormone or neurotransmitter production? Is theproduction and uptake of behaviorally important neurotransmitters such asoxytocin or serotonin influenced by narratives, and if so, in what way? How arevolume transmission systems in the brain in general affected by narratives?2.
To understand narrative impact on the neurobiology of memory, learningand identity.
Why do narratives modulate recall? Is activity in brain regionsimportant for memory—such as the hippocampus—especially influenced bynarratives? What role do reward processing mechanisms associated with learningplay in narrative processing? Is the dopaminergic system influenced differentiallyby narratives as compared to other environmental stimuli? How do narrativesimpact the neurobiology of important identity-related judgments, such as whomyou consider to be a member of your in-group? Are there cross-culturaldifferences in the neurobiology of narratives?3.
To assess narrative influence on the neurobiology of emotions.
Why, in neuralterms, are narratives especially effective at generating emotional reactions? Do