The Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) and its industry affiliate, ARM, have recently signed an agreement whereby the CSNE will work with ARM to develop a unique, brain-implantable, system-on-a-chip (SoC) for bi-directional brain-computer interfaces (BBCIs) aimed at solving neurodegenerative disorders. The collaboration is generating interest in the media, including articles in BBC News, Fox News and Business Weekly.
Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) members at the University of Washington (UW) BioRobotics Lab are working on making improvements to privacy and security properties of brain-computer interface (BCI)-enabled technologies. Their research has attracted the attention of media outlets such as Motherboard (VICE), Ars Technica, MIT Technology Review, and most recently, CBC Radio.
“An important thing is that we would like to get out ahead of these problems [neural privacy and security issues] before they happen. With e-mail spam, we didn’t get out ahead of it before it happened. We started this work about four years ago, and our hope was to try and capture the issue, bring it to awareness, and begin to look for solutions before these things happen,” said Howard Chizeck, CSNE member and professor of electrical engineering at the UW, in the CBC Radio interview.
Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) members, Eric Chudler and Lise Johnson, have begun a new blog series for Psychology Today. Their blog is titled, “Brain Bytes: Neuroscience in small bits,” and it will feature Chudler’s and Johnson’s take on neuroscience, neural engineering and brain-computer interfaces as related to current events. Posts are published periodically, with the first piece written by Johnson, posted April 23, 2017 and titled, “Brain-Computer Interfaces and the Future of Humanity: You should probably at least think about it.”
“This blog is a way to reach a new audience with information about the many mysteries of the brain and clear up misconceptions that people may have regarding neuroscience,” Chudler said.
Learn more about Chudler, Johnson, their blog, and their involvement in the CSNE and the University of Washington at their bio page in Psychology Today.
A new article in The Conversation by Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering Director, Raj Rao, and University of Washington Bioengineering doctoral student, James Wu, describes the state-of-the-art of neural engineering. Topics covered include the origins of brain-computer interface (BCI) research, different types of BCIs, and what’s realistically possible for assistive and augmentative BCIs. The article has been picked-up and republished multiple times, in outlets such as CNN, Scientific American, Smithsonian.com, LiveScience, Raw Story and Futurism.
Implantable fibers are already being used by scientists to stimulate specific targets in the brain and to monitor electrical responses by neurons; however, similar studies in the nerves of the spinal cord, which might ultimately lead to treatments to alleviate spinal cord injuries, have been more difficult to carry out. This is because the spine flexes and stretches as the body moves, and the relatively stiff, brittle fibers used today could damage the delicate spinal cord tissue.
Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) members at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Washington (UW) are part of a multi-institution team that has developed a new, flexible, rubber-like fiber, which can be used to study spinal cord neurons and potentially restore bodily function.
In a recent paper published in the journal Science Advances, the research team describes the implant they have developed. This rubber-like fiber can flex and stretch while simultaneously delivering both optical (light) impulses, for optoelectronic stimulation, and electrical connections, for stimulation and monitoring of neurons.
“I wanted to create a multimodal interface with mechanical properties compatible with tissues for neural stimulation and recording,” says CSNE student member at MIT, Chi (Alice) Lu. “The spinal cord is not only bending but also stretching during movement.”
According to Polina Anikeeva, CSNE deputy faculty director and professor at MIT, the spinal cord undergoes stretches of approximately 12 percent during normal, everyday movement, so flexibility is a must. These new fibers are not only stretchable but also very flexible.
“They’re so floppy, you could use them to do sutures, and do light delivery at the same time,” Anikeeva said. “There are many different types of cells in the spinal cord, and we don’t know how the different types respond to recovery, or lack of recovery, after an injury.” These new fibers, the researchers hope, could help to fill in some of those blanks.
For more information about this study, read the full article at MIT News.
On Thursday, March 16, Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) Executive and Education Director, Eric Chudler, and CSNE University Education Manager, Lise Johnson, appeared on KING 5 Television’s daily talk show, “New Day Northwest.” Chudler and Johnson were discussing their new book, “Brain Bytes: Quick Answers to Quirky Questions about the Brain.”
Chudler’s and Johnson’s book contains answers to more than 100 common questions about the brain, such as: Does brain size matter? Why do we dream? What can I do to keep my brain healthy?
Answers in the book are derived from the latest information about neuroscience and neural engineering. A section of the book is dedicated to discussions about brain-computer interfaces and brain stimulation as well.
The CSNE research team at San Diego State University, led by Sam Kassegne, has been developing a special kind of electrode to be used in brain-computer interfaces, and their work has been getting noticed in the media.
This “glassy carbon” electrode both electrically stimulates (sends information) and records (receives information) from neurons in the brain, providing an efficient and biocompatible connection between the body and an implanted device.
In addition to a journal publication released in Nature Science Reports, Kassegne’s research has been covered on the CW6 (San Diego TV), Science Daily, Phys.org, My Social Good News, Next Big Future, San Diego East County Magazine, Village News, as well as articles in the SDSU NewsCenter and here on the CSNE website.
“With the technology now demonstrated to have key advantages over existing commercial and research-grade thin-film technologies (coupled electrical and electrochemical detection, higher signal to noise ratio, very low corrosion rate), the next logical step is human trials,” Kassegne said. “We are currently working closely together with our collaborators to go to the next level.”
Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) research leader, Dr. Polina Anikeeva, is part of a collaborative team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who have, for the first time ever, developed flexible fibers that can deliver a combination of optical, electrical and chemical signals back and forth into the brain. The team's research results are reported in a paper published this month in the journal, Nature Neuroscience.
The fibers are designed to mimic the softness and flexibility of brain tissue, which could make it possible to leave implants in place over a longer period of time. With some adjustments to further improve biocompatibility, this new approach to implantable brain-computer interfaces could provide a dramatically improved way to learn about the functions and interconnections of different brain regions. Read the full article in MIT News.
Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) and University of Washington (UW) graduate students, Tim Brown and Maggie Thompson, have been featured on The Neuroethics Blog, the official blog of the American Journal of Bioethics, Neuroscience (AJOB Neuroscience).
Brown and Thompson are working together in the UW BioRobotics Lab on projects related to deep brain stimulators and brain-computer interfaces. Brown is a doctoral student in Philosophy and research assistant at the UW, and Thompson is a doctoral student in the UW BioRobotics Lab in Electrical Engineering at the UW. Thompson is also president of the CSNE Student Leadership Council.
“When Neuroethicists Become Labmates” features a discussion between Brown and Thompson, covering how they have collaborated successfully to enhance and strengthen each other’s work in their respective fields of study. Thompson studies electrical engineering, and Brown studies philosophy, in particular, neuroethics. Read the full article on the AJOB Neuroscience blog.
The third annual Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) Hackathon was recently covered by Q13 Fox News. Hackathon organizer and University of Washington (UW) Bioengineering PhD student, Nile Wilson, is featured in the video report. Watch the Q13 Fox News video.
The CSNE Hackathon is a university student-run competition that gives participants an opportunity to engineer innovative neural technology with potential for real-world clinical and commercial applications. Participating students came from the UW, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, San Diego State University and other CSNE-affiliated partner institutions and programs across the country.
Pictured below is this year’s winning Hackathon project team, DropStop (with their 3-D printed brain trophies). DropStop created an interactive rehabilitation system for patients with foot drop, a common side effect of stroke, spinal cord injury and certain hip surgeries. The device the team designed collects electromyogram (EMG) signals from leg and foot muscles and translates them into biofeedback in the form of light emitting diode (LED) output. This line of blinking lights on a circuit board serves as guidance the patient can use while exerting effort in their physical therapy. While engaged in leg and foot exercises, the user can observe through the LED output that muscles in their dropped foot are indeed activating, even if they can’t visibly see those muscles move.
Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) graduate students and University of Washington PhD candidates, James Wu and Kaitlyn Casimo sat down to discuss what is fiction and what is reality when it comes to brain-computer interface research on KIRO Radio News 97.3 FM's Jason and Burns Show. Topics covered included the challenges inherent in brain-computer research, what’s realistically possible in the near future, and ethical concerns and considerations. A write-up, summarizing portions of the interview, is also available at MyNorthwest.com.
A recent study by a team of University of Washington (UW) researchers, including the CSNE’s Director, Dr. Rajesh Rao, has been in the news lately for its unique findings. The team’s research uses transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the human visual cortex to convey binary information about obstacles in a virtual maze. The information is communicated non-invasively and directly to the brain through TMS without other visual or auditory cues. Research subjects navigate the maze through brain stimulation alone, effectively achieving a sort of ‘sixth sense’ for the brain.
This work was first reported in UW Today, and the article is based on a paper the team published Nov. 16 in Frontiers in Robotics and AI. A video and article featuring Dr. Rao was also published by Reuters/GMA News Online in January, and another piece published this week in CNET.
The Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering’s (CSNE’s) industry affiliate, Advanced Brain Monitoring (ABM), has been recognized as the “Most Innovative Medical Device Company” by Global Health & Pharma (GHP) for GHP’s 2016 Healthcare and Pharmaceutical awards.
ABM is an industry leader in discovering neuroscience applications that measure and interpret brain function and detect abnormal neuro-cardio respiratory response during sleep. The company also develops innovative devices that improve sleep quality and enhance performance.
“This award recognizes our company’s successes in developing technologies which enable clinicians and clinical trial sponsors to profile brain health through the analysis of the brain’s electrical activity (EEG) during sleep and wake,” stated Chris Berka, ABM’s Chief Executive Officer.
ABM’s company platform includes streamlined EEG acquisition, secure transmission over a cloud portal and rapid analyses and reporting.
The Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering’s (CSNE’s) Computational Neuroscience research thrust co-leader, Emily Fox, has been selected to receive a 2017 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government upon scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers.
Fox is among 102 scientists and engineers (only 19 via the National Science Foundation) who are being recognized by the White House for advancing the frontiers of science and technology and serving the community through scientific leadership, public education and community outreach.
CSNE members at the University of Washington, Jeneva Cronin, Dr. Jared Olson, and Dr. Jeff Ojemann, are part of the research team featured in this Pacific Standard article. The piece explains their recent study, which shows that a sense of ownership of an artificial limb can be induced by electrical brain stimulation.
The CSNE has been in the news recently with a study led by CSNE member and UW bioengineering doctoral student, Jeneva Cronin. Cronin’s study, “Task-Specific Somatosensory Feedback via Cortical Stimulation in Humans,” has been featured in media outlets such as UW Today, the UW Daily, GeekWire, New Atlas, NSF NewsScience 360, KOMO NewsRadio, futurism.com, Pune Mirror/India Times, and NSF Science Now.
The study is notable because this is the first time in humans researchers have been able to use brain surface stimulation to provide ‘touch’ feedback to direct movement, which is a potential method for providing sensory feedback in future prosthetic and rehabilitative applications.
On October 13th, Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) student and 2016 Young Scholars Program (YSP) participant, Surabhi Mundada, attended the White House Frontiers Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Mundada’s attendance at the event was sponsored by the Society for Science and the Public, based on science projects she did for events such as the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
“It was extremely exciting and super inspiring to hear about all the innovative ideas in so many fields of science,” said Mundada. “Hearing President Obama speak was also incredible!”
The White House Frontiers Conference was co-hosted by President Obama, the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, in order to explore the future of innovation here and around the world. The conference focused on building U.S. capacity in science, technology, and innovation, as well as the new technologies, challenges and goals that will continue to shape the 21st century and beyond.
The Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) is being highlighted as part of the University of Washington’s (UW’s) philanthropic campaign, Together, which launches Friday, October 21st. The Center is featured for its collaborative work with the UW College of Engineering in both a video at the UW’s campaign launch event and in an article on the university's campaign website.
Both the article and the video tell the story of Jayna Bean Doll, a young girl who was diagnosed with hemimegalencephaly, a rare condition in which one half of the brain develops abnormally larger than the other. The condition causes seizures, and in Jayna's case, required that half her brain be removed. CSNE member, Dr. Jeff Ojemann, performed the surgery, which stopped the seizures but left Jayna with weakness and impaired motor control on the left side of her body. CSNE member and UW professor, Dr. Kat Steele, and UW Mechanical Engineering students in her lab created an orthosis to help Jayna regain movement and motor control of her left arm. The video and article profiles the process of creating this orthosis, as well as some of the research advances the CSNE is making in neural engineering, which promise to help the body heal, feel and move again. Read the full story and watch the video here.
Together, is the most expansive philanthropic campaign in the UW’s history, and it is aimed at transforming the lives of students and all the people the university serves. For more information, visit the UW’s campaign website, which will be updated frequently as the campaign progresses.
Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) student, Kaitlyn McGlothlen, has won both the International Neuroethics Society essay contest and the Voices in Bioethics essay contest with a paper she wrote for Dr. Laura Specker-Sullivan’s 2016 Spring Quarter class at the CSNE, Ethical Issues in Neural Engineering. McGlothlen’s paper is titled, “Oops, There Goes my Childhood: Identity and Clinical Ethical Issues in the Selective Erasing of Memories.”
For more information, please contact CSNE Neuroethics Fellow, Dr. Laura Specker-Sullivan.
Dr. Bing Brunton, assistant professor of biology at the University of Washington (UW) and Dr. Raj Rao, Director of the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering and professor in the UW Computer Science & Engineering department, have received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study how the brain functions without being given structured tasks or direction. Their study is aimed at understanding neural processing outside of traditionally structured and controlled experiments in a laboratory setting.
In Brunton’s and Rao’s study, subjects receive no explicit instructions, but instead, simply behave as they wish in their hospital-room, including eating, sleeping and conversing with family. By observing non-structured behavior, the study aims to build a better understanding of the brain in action, in a real-world scenario. Learn more about this grant and study on the NSF website.
The Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering student startup, Multimodal Health, is moving their headquarters this week to the new UW CoMotion building. Learn more about this unique, virtual rehabilitation company in this article, recently featured on the University of Washington homepage.
This short article and video explains how the CSNE began exploring the ethical implications of neuroscience and neural engineering early-on, becoming a leader in the relatively new field of neuroethics. CSNE faculty member, Dr. Tom Daniel, and the CSNE’s neuroethics research leader, Dr. Sara Goering, are interviewed. Read the article and watch the video in the August issue of Perspectives, the University of Washington College of Arts & Sciences’ newsletter.
CSNE research leader and University of Washington (UW) professor, Dr. Josh Smith is principal investigator of the UW Sensor Systems Lab, which has developed a way for embedded devices to harvest Bluetooth radio signals and use them to broadcast Wi-Fi transmissions. With further optimization, the team could use this technique to make a new generation of apps that process data from devices implanted in the body. Read the full article in the MIT Technology Review.
A Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE)-funded research study exploring ethical implications of brain-computer interfaces used in conjunction with closed-loop brain stimulation has been published in Taylor & Francis’ Brain-Computer Interfaces journal.
“Brain-computer interface-based control of closed-loop brain stimulation: attitudes and ethical considerations” was co-authored by Eran Klein, Sara Goering, Josh Gagne, Conor V. Shea, Rachel Franklin, Samuel Zorowitz, Darin D. Dougherty and Alik S. Widge. The article describes in detail this qualitative study of 15 test subjects implanted with Deep-Brain Stimulation (DBS) for depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).
Individuals at MGH were interviewed for their perspectives about closed-loop or next-generation DBS devices, given their experience with open-loop DBS. The study uncovered four major themes characterizing test subjects’ attitudes toward next-generation DBS: control over device function, authentic self, relationship effects and meaningful consent. The article presents subject feedback within the framework of these themes and asserts that these attitudes about closed-loop DBS can help inform future development of psychiatric DBS research.
Besides the article, another direct outgrowth of this research work was a very successful symposium on closed-loop DBS, facilitated by Eran Klein (pictured) at the recent North American Neuromodulation Society Neural Interfaces Conference.
An international team led by researchers at the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) based at the University of Washington (UW) is one of three finalists in a race to produce an implantable wireless device that can assess, stimulate and block the activity of nerves that control organs.
For the GlaxoSmithKline Bioelectronics Innovation Challenge, the team is working on an implantable device that could help restore bladder function for people with spinal cord injuries or millions of others who suffer from incontinence.
“For people with spinal cord injuries, restoring sexual function and bladder function are some of their top priorities — higher than regaining the ability to walk,” said Chet Moritz, deputy director of the CSNE and UW associate professor of rehabilitation medicine and of physiology and biophysics.
“The vision is for these neural devices to be as ubiquitous as pacemakers or deep brain stimulators, where a surgeon implants the device and it’s seamless for the patient,” he said. “We’re really excited to make a difference in people’s lives and to help push these technologies forward.”
The CSNE team — one of 11 initially selected by GlaxoSmithKline to compete in the challenge — joined forces with another team of experts from the University of Cambridge and University College London for the second round of the competition. The company will award up to $1 million in additional research funding to each team.
Neurofutures 2016 features top thought leaders in research, engineering, industry and clinical domains. The event will be held June 19--21 at the Allen Institute for Brain Science, and it is co-hosted by participating partners, Oregon Health & Science University, University of Washington and University of British Columbia. This annual conference is designed to explore new innovations at the interface of neuroscience and neurotechnology.
This year’s conference theme is “Circuit Structure and Dynamics," with topics including:
- Novel imaging approaches
- Non-mammalian model systems
- Human and non-human primate circuit function
- Computational modeling of circuits
- Circuits in degeneration
- Circuits in psychiatric disorders
Keynote Speakers include:
- Linda Buck, Ph.D., Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 2004 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine
- Anne Churchland, Ph.D., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
- Liqun Luo, Ph.D., Stanford University
- Afonso Silva, Ph.D., National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke
Larry Bencivengo, an educator who participated in the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) 2015 Summer Research Experience for Teachers (RET), was recently featured in this video by the Mercer Island School District. Mr. Bencivengo developed an artificial neural network curriculum, with guidance from the CSNE, for his AP Biology class. The curriculum unit was co-authored by Mr. Bencivengo and Benjamin Hart, a biology teacher at Redmond High School. Mr. Bencivengo has also recently been awarded a grant in the Partners in Science program of the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. During the next two summers, Mr. Bencivengo will be conducting basic research in science labs at the University of Washington. Kristen Bergsman, the CSNE Pre-College Education Manager, is also featured in the video. Ms. Bergsman gives an overview of the CSNE and how Mr. Bencivengo participated in the RET program.
Every year, the CSNE at the University of Washington sponsors this seven-week summer research program for middle school and high school teachers on the university's Seattle campus. Teachers selected for the program participate in ongoing research projects with researchers and have the opportunity to develop new lesson plans based on their research experiences. Learn more at the CSNE Research Experience for Teachers webpage.
CSNE members Emo Todorov and Vikash Kumar are part of a University of Washington team of computer scientists and engineers who have built a robotic hand that can not only perform dexterous manipulation but also learn from its own experience. Read the full article in UW Today.
Congratulations to the CSNE member and University of Washington (UW) graduate student, Katherine Pratt, recently named as one of the Husky 100! The Husky 100 recognizes 100 outstanding UW undergraduate and graduate students. Visit the Husky 100 website to learn more about this award.
The CSNE is proud to welcome White Matter LLC as our latest Industry Affiliate. Located in Seattle, Washington, White Matter LLC manufactures sophisticated data acquisition devices for neuroscience and brain research. Their flagship product, the nanoZ, is used in hundreds of laboratories worldwide to rapidly test and condition multi-channel electrode arrays. In 2015, White Matter LLC released the eCube, providing researchers with the ability to acquire, process and analyze up to 6,400 channels of neural data with the world’s smallest and lightest digital headstages. These technologies will allow the CSNE researchers to perform truly large-scale electrophysiology in test subjects using ECoG or implantable electrode arrays. The CSNE is excited to have White Matter LLC as an industry partner and we are looking forward to developing this research partnership.
To learn about other industry partnerships the CSNE is involved in, visit our Current Members page.
On Monday, April 11 over 60 people, including the CSNE Industry Affiliates, researchers and graduate students gathered to review progress of some of the latest work the Center has been involved with in the past year, as well as talk about technological advances in both industry product development and academic research. Activities included a research overview, a student poster session, and discussions about technology transfer. Industry Affiliates like Conor Russomanno, CEO of OpenBCI (pictured demonstrating an open-source data acquisition board and headset at Industry Day) are collaborating with the CSNE on exciting projects, such as equipping and supporting research in brain-computer interfaces. Read more about the CSNE's partnership with its Industry Affiliates at our Current Member page.
CSNE engineers like Jeffrey Herron, pictured below, are working on innovations in healthcare, trying to help patients control their implanted medical devices just by thinking about them.
Getting up from a chair once posed a challenge for Steven Gilbert, affiliate professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at the UW. Now, thanks to the work of CSNE member, Dr. Andrew Ko, he walks more than five miles a day after receiving brain stimuli.
Students from the University of Washington, San Diego State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Spelman College assembled at the CSNE on Friday, November 6, 2015, for the 2015 CSNE Hackathon. Five teams of three students were tasked to develop a novel technology to addressing sensorimotor neural engineering problems. The catch? Teams had only 36 hours to complete their projects.
On Monday, November 9, teams made their final presentations to a group of faculty and industry judges. The five teams were: "Rocket Brain" | "Face the Music" | "ReVision" | EmoVibe | "Sunshine Arm." After a long deliberation, the judges selected the "Face the Music" team as the winner.
MIT’s Polina Anikeeva was among those named to the prestigious list this week. She’s described as a “creative scientist” who sees “new ways to record and stimulate brain activity.” Dr. Anikeeva is a co-leader of brain-controlled spinal reanimation research at the CSNE.
New research is now leading to changes at the University of Washington CoMotion MakerSpace. UW’s Kat Steele, assistant professor in mechanical engineering, has had help from students with disabilities to set out some new guidelines to cater to those with disabilities. Steele is an investigator with AccessEngineering, which is funded by NSF and is being led by the DO-IT program. DO-IT partners with the CSNE.
A look at Seattle-area research in neuroscience and all things related to the brain. Dr. Eric Chudler talks about engaging young minds through his Neuroscience for Kids website. Professor Chudler is the executive director of the CSNE.
Scientists say they can now download signals from your brain and translate them back into a picture that you saw. UW's Andrea Stocco, professor of psychology, is quoted, and Rajesh Rao, professor of computer science and engineering, is referenced.
MIT's Polina Anikeeva is working to turn fiction into fact, not to help with virtual reality technology, but to help amputees restore full functionality to prosthetic limbs - not just to control the muscles, but to be able to feel and touch again.
"Any type of portrayal of the brain in cartoons can get kids interested in how the brain works and what makes it tick," said CSNE Executive Director Eric Chudler. He weighed in on the latest Pixar movie, which provides a kid-friendly introduction to neuroscience.
Essential tremor is a neurological disorder that causes rhythmic shaking, and currently, deep brain stimulation is a FDA-approved method for treating people with essential tremor. UW researchers are working with Medtronic's Activa PC+S Deep Brain Stimulation system for an alternate treatment. CSNE researchers Howard Chizeck, Jeffrey Herron and Andrew Ko are interviewed.
With a title punning on the Art Nouveau movement, the exhibit presented neuroscience as art and invites viewers to explore the connections between beauty and neuroscience. The theme of neuroscience in nature can be seen in “Sidewalk Neurons” by Eric Chudler, PhD, in which he collaged images of sidewalk cracks to show viewers that neuroscience can be found everywhere, even in unexpected places.
As Russ Tedrake flings up the garage door to the dusty MIT lab, light whooshes in, revealing a 360-pound humanoid robot known as Atlas hanging from a rope. As one of the Darpa Robotics Challenge’s 25 robot finalists, Atlas will be representing Tedrake’s team at the 2015 challenge in two weeks. Tedrake is a co-leader of the Control and Adaptation Thrust.
Startups created by UW professors Howard Chizeck and Joshua Smith are featured in this article, which looks at scientists and engineers creating “smart” concrete, a system that allows robots to function in zero visibility underwater (Chizeck’s BluHaptics) and wireless backscatter technology (Smith).
A cochlear implant is designed to do one thing really well — allow users to understand speech. It should be possible to make cochlear implants more music-friendly, says Les Atlas, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Washington.
You may have learned about the five senses in school but Dr. Eric Chudler sheds light on some of the many other lesser known senses.
Reporter Nancy Szokan describes a recent Smithsonian Magazine article on brain-to-brain communication research, with a focus on UW Professor Rajesh Rao's work.
Exploring uncharted territory, neuroscientists are making strides with human subjects who can "talk" directly by using their minds. Professor Rajesh Rao and Research Assistant Professor Andrea Stocco of the University of Washington are featured in the story
At one MIT lab, materials scientist Polina Anikeeva has hit on a way to manufacture what amounts to a brain-science Swiss Army knife. The neural probes she builds carry light while collecting and transmitting electricity, and they also have tiny channels through which to pump drugs.
Researchers from the University of Washington departments of Electrical Engineering, Neurological Surgery and Philosophy have teamed up with medical device manufacturer Medtronic to use the Activa® PC+S Deep Brain Stimulation system with people who have essential tremor.
Community members had the chance to engage their minds while learning more about how the organ works during a Brain Symposium at Mill Creek Middle School on March 19. Shannon Jephson-Hernandez, science teacher and CSNE RET alum, was one of the driving forces behind the symposium's creation.
The project will expand the College of Engineering by providing teaching, research and collaboration space that will allow SDSU to support interdisciplinary research. SDSU collaborates with the University of Washington and MIT in the National Science Foundation's Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering.
Many people have difficulty quickly identifying left and right. It is a complex process which involves several higher brain functions. A test to determine left-right discrimination, created by Dr. Eric Chudler, is included in this article.
Engineers at MIT, led by Polina Anikeeva, have developed a method to stimulate brain tissue using external magnetic fields and injected magnetic nanoparticles that resemble small bits of rust. This technique allows for direct stimulation of neurons, which could someday be an effective treatment for a variety of neurological diseases, and even further in the future, for severe, treatment-resistant psychiatric disorders like depression, without the need for highly invasive brain implants or external connections.
The inspiration to use magnets to control brain activity in mice first struck MIT materials scientist Polina Anikeeva while working in the lab of neuroscientist-engineer Karl Deisseroth at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
Plans to make transcranial direction current stimulation (tDCS) machines are available online and components can be bought at hobbyist stores. But that does not mean that using them is without risk, says Peter Reiner, co-founder of the National Core for Neuroethics at the University of British Columbia.
About 650 elementary students attended a Brain Awareness Week open house Tuesday at the University of Washington. The event helped students learn about the brain through hands-on stations and a lecture by Eric Chudler, Ph.D., a research associate professor in the UW Department of Bioengineering and executive director of the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering.
Matthew D’Asaro, a doctoral student in the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, dismantled his first electronic gadget as a toddler. He and his roommate have turned their dorm room into an engineering workshop.
vHAB won the Tech Sandbox competition last year at the UW’s Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering. A lot has happened since then, including a $40,000 commercialization grant for vHAB from the UW’s CoMotion program (formerly the Center for Commercialization).
It has been the holy grail of science fiction - an interface that allows us to plug our brain into a computer. Now, researchers at MIT have revealed new fibers less than a width of a hair that could make it a reality.
Stiff, steel microwires can damage tissue when implanted deep into patients' brains. Engineers at MIT have found a way around this problem with a flexible brain-implant technology.
Conventional neural probes are designed to record a single type of signaling, limiting the information that can be derived from the brain at any point in time. Now researchers at MIT may have found a way to change that.
vHAB is designed and engineered while keeping in mind the needs of neurologically injured people. This virtual rehabilitation system helps to stroke patients through rehabilitation in a tailored manner.
Fifteen students from three institutions competed in a hackathon sponsored by the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering.
A line trailed down the Ave as students and community members waited to enter the Varsity Theatre for a screening of “Fixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement” Thursday night. The film, presented by the UW’s Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering, is about technologies with the potential to make us “better than human,” such as prosthetic feet tailored for mountain climbing
Elle O'Brien, graduate student at the University of Washington, won the local National Science Foundation Pitch Perfect competition and will move on to the national competition in October.
Students from several summer research programs, including participants from the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering, discussed their work with visitors in Mary Gates Hall. Students from the UW, MIT, SDSU and other universities took part in CSNE summer programs.
"Brain Trust," a play written by Seattle playwright Rachel Atkins in collaboration with UW Professor Eberhard Fetz explores the question of what it means to change a person’s brain through a neural implant, using something called deep brain stimulation.
Researchers at the UW recently analyzed the functionality of non-invasive BCIs and raised questions about BCI security. While many neural engineering applications of BCIs are still under development, the privacy and safety of consumer brain-signal data may be at risk without further security measures.
The 10-percent brain myth started with a misquoting of Albert Einstein or misinterpretations of the work of brain researchers and psychologists, according to a website from University of Washington neuroscientist Eric Chudler.
CSNE's Howard Chizeck and Tamara Bonaci discuss their research into the privacy implications of brain-computer interfaces. The interview is also available on KIRO Radio.
Tech Sandbox allows students to create projects that demonstrate the core principles of neural engineering. The projects also work as educational demos.
Professor Sara Goering investigates ethical issues that are likely to develop from the use of neural technologies. Her team is currently comparing existing interventions for human bodies and brains to new technologies being developed.
The University of Washington is receiving a $31.2 million gift from Washington Research Foundation to boost entrepreneurship and support research that tackles some of society’s most crucial challenges.
$7.19 million of the gift will be used to establish an Institute for Neuroengineering, which will foster collaborative research across many disciplines to address current challenges in neural disorders and functions, and provide new technologies for people affected by neural disorders. The funding will also support nine postdoctoral researchers, nine graduate students, nine undergraduate students and nine high school student interns. In addition, it will support building renovations in the Department of Biology to house new research. Research will take place jointly with the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering at the UW.
University of Washington students competed in April to create projects that demonstrate the core principles of neural engineering. This course, the Tech Sandbox Competition, will be replicated at MIT, San Diego State University and Morehouse College.
Graduate student Tyler Libey demonstrates vHAB, a product that he developed with a team of student researchers. Vhab is designed to help stroke victims recover and improve control over their movements through virtual reality games.
Over the last few years, researchers have made significant strides in decoding our thoughts based on brain activity. UW research from Professor Rajesh Rao and team is mentioned.
Team vHAB — including two graduate students in bioengineering, an undergraduate in bioengineering, and an undergraduate in neurobiology and behavior — created six games for stroke therapy patients. vHAB uses muscle activity sensors to measure and speed up patient motor recovery, and delivers the data into electronic medical records so doctors can measure stages of both clinical and at-home recovery.
The TechSandbox competition, coordinated by the University of Washington’s Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering in Seattle, was so successful in its inaugural year that the competition now takes place within the framework of a two-credit-hour course offered through the department of bioengineering.
Artificial intelligence shows signs of becoming the next big trend for tech start-ups in Silicon Valley. The University of Washington's online course "Computational Neuroscience," taught by Professors Rajesh Rao and Adrienne Fairhall, is mentioned in this article from The Washington Post.
The Washington Research Foundation, a private nonprofit group that funds research and initiatives to commercialize innovations in the state, is making a large, long-term grant to University of Washington efforts in data science, clean energy, protein design, and neuroengineering. UW Professors Tom Daniel and Adrienne Fairhall will serve as co-directors of the Institute of Neuroengineering.
Four University of Washington students who developed a virtual reality game that provides real-time feedback for patients undergoing stroke therapy came away victorious at a neural engineering competition March 13.
MIT’s graduate program in engineering has been ranked No. 1 in the country in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings — a spot the Institute has held since 1990, when the magazine first ranked graduate programs in engineering. UW ranked #26. MIT also ranked #1 in Computer Engineering; UW ranked #15 on that list.
Each March, scientists around the world host open houses to get people thinking about the brain. At the University of Washington, that means the mother of all science fairs in a room decked out with human brains, spinal cords, finch chirping and flying fruit flies.
The most popular hands-on exhibit at the University of Washington’s annual event for kids celebrating the human brain was, well, laying hands on a real human brain.
It would be impossible to measure the cost of noisy distractions, but companies with open offices surely pay it. Adrian K.C. Lee, assistant professor of speech and hearing sciences at the University of Washington, is quoted.
A look at some of the best research institutions in the U.S., ranked by level of funding from the National Institutes of Health, the largest funder of biomedical research in the world. The University of Washington is number three.
While the 1987 version of “RoboCop” spoke to the blurring line between man and machine and the moral responsibilities of science, the 2014 version more readily addresses those meaty cyberpunk themes, thanks in part to the science and technology being conducted today. Research by University of Washington scientists Rajesh Rao and Andrea Stocco is discussed.
The giant Consumer Electronics Show is known for glitzy, multi-story booths, showing off the next big products from some of the world’s largest technology companies. But GeekWire’s adventures included a visit to a much more modest booth — staffed by researchers from the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering whose work could have much more profound implications for humanity, albeit much further in the future than the next holiday season.
The start of the movie awards season is only weeks away! Science Writer Christian Jarrett looks at cinema and the brain. The article mentions UW Biorobotics Lab’s involvement in the movie, “Ender’s Game.”
KPLU's most-clicked stories of 2013 include one about UW Engineering Professor Les Atlas's project to help cochlear implant users hear music.
From minimally invasive catheterization delivery to wireless power charging to overall miniaturization, the cardiovascular device field has seen plenty of advances in recent years.
Karen May-Newman, PhD, has been in the thick of it as the director of the bioengineering program at San Diego State University, where she designs and runs transparent heart simulators that game out how left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are changing the flow of blood through the heart and its valves.