The primary motivations for the Capstone Projects (CPs) are to increase the significance and impact of CELEST research beyond what is possible from smaller (2-3 investigator) collaborations, and to enhance sustainability of CELEST research by obtaining Center-level grant funding that will extend beyond the end of NSF funds in Year 10.
The three CPs represent a natural organization of CELEST research by building on past and ongoing CELEST modeling and experimental research from each of the four scientific initiatives. After considerable internal discussions and consultation with the External Advisory and Scientific Review Board (EASRB), CELEST leadership identified three CPs: Adaptive Brain-Computer Interactions (ABCI), Foraging and Learning with Attention in a Mutable Environment (FLAME), and Learning, Attention, and Multisensory Binding (LAMB) that will focus our funding strategies going forward.
It is important to note that these CPs will supplement, rather than replace, CELEST’s foundational program of learning research. We view the CPs as areas of opportunity for increasing the impact of our research by more tightly coordinating work across individual research projects, something that is impossible with smaller research grants. At the same time, the CPs require relatively modest new funding commitments, little or no shifting of funds away from successful ongoing projects and productive researchers, and little change from our focus on the four basic scientific initiatives that define our work.