We conduct neuroscience, neuroengineering and translational research to better understand how the brain controls movement, and to design medical systems to assist people with paralysis. These medical systems are referred to as brain-machine interfaces (BMIs), brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) and intra-cortical neural prostheses. We conduct this research as part of our Neural Prosthetic Systems Lab (NPSL), which focuses on more basic systems and computational neuroscience and neuroengineering, and as part of our Neural Prosthetics Translational Lab (NPTL), which focuses on more translational systems and computational neuroscience and neuroengineering.
Neuroscience. Our neuroscience research investigates the neural basis of movement preparation and generation using a combination of electro- / opto-physiological (e.g., chronic electrode-array recordings and optogenetic stimulation), behavioral, computational and theoretical techniques (e.g., dynamical systems, dimensionality reduction, single-trial neural analyses). For example, how do neurons in premotor (PMd) and primary motor (M1) cortex plan and guide reaching arm movements?
Neuroengineering. Our neuroengineering research investigates the design of high-performance and robust intra-cortical neural prostheses. These systems translate neural activity from the brain into control signals for prosthetic devices, which can assist people with paralysis by restoring lost motor functions. This work includes statistical signal processing, machine learning, and real-time system modeling and implementation. For example, how can we design motor prostheses with performance rivaling the natural arm, or communication prostheses rivaling the throughput of spoken language?
Translational. Our translational research, including an FDA pilot clinical trial (BrainGate2), are conducted as part of the the Neural Prosthetics Translational Laboratory (NPTL). For example, how do pre-clinical laboratory designs actually work with people with paralysis in real-world settings?