Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an effective treatment for medically intractable motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD) such as tremor, slowness of movement, and rigidity. This therapy, analogous to a cardiac pacemaker for the brain, involves placing a stimulating lead into the deep brain structures (i.e. subthalamic nucleus, thalamus, globus pallidus) to modulate abnormal electrical circuit activity and improve motor function.
We are studying the basis of high level learning, using ultra high field functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study how shape processing areas of the cerebral cortex change when subjects develop perceptual expertise.
This project focuses on the development and validation of a novel algorithm to compress neural data. The student will involve in algorithm and hardware development and testing.
Wireless neural interfaces: in wireless neural interfaces, there is insufficient bandwidth and power to transmit raw data. One solution is to integrate data compression into recorders thus reducing the wireless data rate. However, conventional compression techniques are computationally demanding, requiring too much silicon area for implementation.
This project will utilize a virtual reality headset and EEG recording to create an immersive virtual training environment for brain-computer interface applications. The goal of this project is to increase user’s ability to control virtual objects by presenting them with realistic visual stimuli. In this project a student will assist with data analysis, experiment design, and the development of a virtual training environment.
Pluripotent stem cells can be created from tissue samples taken from a patient. These stem cells can then be converted into neural tissue through application of appropriate cellular signals. When this neural tissue is grown in a flask, it makes little chunks of neural tissue that may have similar properties as the patient's own brain tissue. In this project, you will be taking these neural organoids and trying different neural recording methods to identify if they produce activity similar to that seen in the brain.
The Pacinian corpuscle (PC) is a mechanoreceptor found within the dermis of skin that responds to high frequency (20-1000 Hz) vibrations. When the surface of skin is vibrated, this vibration is transmitted through the skin to the PC where it deforms the PC tissue and stretches the nerve fiber at the PC’s center, initiating action potentials. PCs are found within clusters in the skin, where multiple PCs branch off of a single nerve and are grouped together.
The Pacinian corpuscle (PC) is a mechanoreceptor that responds to high frequency (20-1000 Hz) vibrations. In response to vibration, the tissue portion of the PC deforms, causing the nerve at its center to stretch and initiate action potentials. Though the PC is very important to the field of haptics, there are many open questions about how it discriminates different vibrotactile signals. Our lab has set up a testing apparatus for psychophysical experiments to test the discriminability of different waveforms on the surface of skin.
Development of various devices for behavioral data collection for Parkinson's Disease research. The devices can be both mechanical and electrical. There are several devices that our lab needs developed.