Center testbeds, as the name implies, allow researchers to test new technologies, computational tools and theories.
Our researchers are currently focusing on:
Cortical & spinal plasticity: The goal of this testbed is to promote plasticity for rehabilitation for people with neurological disorders. CSNE researchers are, for example, developing methods to promote recovery of neural connections between cortical regions using stimulation across a stroke-affected motor region. We are also developing ways to restore cortico-spinal connections for recovery of hand function after spinal cord injury.
Brain-controlled spinal reanimation: When plasticity and recovery are not possible, our researchers are also developing ways to bypass an injury to the spinal cord using computer hardware. By recording the intention to move in motor areas of the brain, we can control stimulation of the spinal cord below the injury to produce hand and arm movements. The long term goal of this testbed is to use our bidirectional brain-computer interface to reanimate the paralyzed hands of a person with complete cervical spinal cord injury.
Cortical co-adaptation with bidirectional brain-computer interface: The idea of interfacing minds with machines has long captured our imagination. This testbed will optimize methods for both extracting user intentions and for providing sensory feedback when working with the ever-adapting brain. These principled methods will be applied to improve hand movement control for users with motor or sensory impairments.