Engage and Enable Blog

In this blog and by sharing our stories, we aim to ENGAGE students, researchers and the public, and ENABLE people who have disabilities.


Most of us tend to think of our identity, our sense of self and who we are, as something that is relatively ingrained and unchanging; however, some people who receive neuroengineered implants, like those used in Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), discover that their identity and sense of self are not as set in place as they might have previously thought. Even as implants help with disease symptoms, the devices can also cause shifts in personality, or make an individual question their control over their actions or moods.

Almost everyone knows someone who has experienced a form of brain-related injury or disorder. There are thousands of people every year who undergo neurosurgical procedures, and many face a lifetime of impairment with limited treatment options.

The CSNE and its industry affiliate, Microsoft, are working together to advance neurological treatments by tackling one of the greatest challenges in neuroscience today—how to accurately interpret brain signals. Using a multi-pronged approach, the CSNE and Microsoft are developing and evaluating cloud-based analysis of electrocorticographic (ECoG) signals from the surface of the brain, using machine learning to interpret data. Recent collaborations include:

CSNE has recently formed partnerships with OpenBCI, NeuroRecovery Tech, MultiModal Health and LeafLabs LLC. These are four, leading-edge companies in the areas of human-computer interface technologies, spinal cord neuromodulation, virtual rehabilitation and neural-computer processing.

Student participating in CSNE's exhibit at the Brain Awareness Open HouseApproximately 800 local elementary and middle-school students attended the Brain Awareness Week Open House, which was held on March 17, 2016 and was supported by the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE), along with other sponsors. The event was held in the Husky Union Building, located on the University of Washington's Seattle Campus.

This summer I had the privilege of participating in the 10-week CSNE Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program as a UW Fellow. I joined 10 other “REUs” from around the country and eight Seattle-area high school students who were participating in the CSNE’s Young Scholars Program. Like me, they were all excited about getting involved in neural engineering research.

Over the course of my research experience project, I learned some C++ programming language, created customized 3D-printed parts, and met many interesting and enthusiastic people.