Each CSNE system reflects the contribution of three core engineering thrusts:
- Communication and Interface (Thrust 1 - Dr. Josh Smith and Dr. Sam Kassegne, Thrust Leaders)
- Reverse & Forward Engineering (Thrust 2 - Dr. Adrienne Fairhall and Dr. Fred Rieke, Thrust Leaders)
- Control and Adaptation (Thrust 3 - Dr. Howard Chizeck and Dr. Russ Tedrake, Thrust Leaders)
The Communication and Interface thrust develops devices and data handling/learning algorithms for neural signal extraction and interpretation and feeds back external sensor signals into the neural system. The Reverse and Forward Engineering thrust defines intricate biological systems and computations to help design neural interface and control devices and to further enrich neural modeling. The Control and Adaptation thrust develops devices to express sensorimotor functions for individuals and for devices that explore remote locations; in addition, it designs algorithms for closed-loop control and adaptation between humans and devices. The Control and Adaptation thrust naturally takes the leadership in end-to-end system integration in order to develop robust and reliable closed-loop solutions.
- Thrusts 1 and 3 provide sensorimotor data recorded from humans that Thrust 2 uses to model neural computation and structure.
- Thrust 2 provides reverse-engineered models useful for Thrusts 1 and 3 in designing devices, signal extraction algorithms and control and adaptation strategies. Thrust 2 builds forward-engineered devices that further enrich neural modeling components of Thrusts 1 and 3.
- Thrust 1 and 3 develop devices and algorithms that permit closed-loop control and adaptation strategies needed to build testbeds.
Each thrust is designed to work independently and collaboratively to enhance Center-wide knowledge, discovery, and development. In addition to their independent research missions, the thrusts have independent leaders charged with making plans concerning ethics, education and translation issues. However, fundamental research to understand and develop ethics policies and to build a high-level educational environment is coordinated across all thrust areas by the ethics and education leaders from each thrust. Undergraduate researchers from affiliated institutions are rotated to different thrust labs to experience multidisciplinary interaction.
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- Thrust 1: Communication & Interface
- Thrust 2: Reverse & Forward Engineering
- Thrust 3: Control & Adaptation