Noelle Troutman, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science, is Principal Investigator for a research project that is one of the first recipients of Independent Research and Development (IRAD) funding from the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska.
Troutman will collaborate with faculty members Rupal Mehta and Ingrid Haas on the project "Ideology and risk: How neuroscience can inform nuclear security," which will explore the neuroscience of national security decision making, providing a framework for multiple contexts. They will isolate the role of the prefrontal cortex with a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI).
"Understanding how the interaction between cognition, emotion and biology in combination with other environmental factors impact the complex calculus of nuclear decision-making can help American leaders respond successfully to strategic national security threats across multiple domains and adversaries," Troutman said.
She studies international security, especially East Asia, and specializes in alliance politics, nuclear security, and neuroeconomic decision-making. NRSI utilizes faculty expertise like hers for national security research, technology, product and strategy development, and training and exercises used by federal agencies.
"Our NU colleagues are on the leading-edge in their fields," Maj. Gen., USAF (Ret.) Rick Evans, NSRI executive director, said, "and we are proud to spur their creativity through this program."
NSRI, sponsored by U.S. Strategic Command, is a Department Of Defense-designated University Affiliated Research Center.
The Department of Political Science is a social science area of the College of Arts and Sciences.