Repairing the Damaged Brain with Computation: The Development of a Neural Motor Prosthesis
Speaker: Professor Michael Black , Brown UniversityContact:
Date: April 6 2006
Time: 4:00PM to 5:30PM
Host: Rodney Brooks, CSAIL
Victoria Palay, 617-253-8924, firstname.lastname@example.orgRelevant URL:
Recent advances in neuroscience have made it possible to treat injury of
the central nervous system by directly coupling brains with computers to
augment or restore lost function. Building a direct, artificial,
connection between the brain and the world requires answers to the
1. What "signals" can we measure from the brain? From what regions?
With what technology?
2. How is information represented (or encoded) in the brain?
3. What algorithms can we use to infer (or decode) the internal
"state" of the brain?
4. How can we build practical interfaces for the disabled that
exploit the available technology?
This talk will summarize work at Brown University on developing neural
motor prostheses and will provide preliminary answers to the above
questions with a focus on the problem of modeling and decoding motor
cortical activity. I will show how simple models of cortical activity
enable the direct neural control of 2D cursor motion and will describe
future applications of brain machine interfaces and neural robot
control. The resulting hybrid bionic systems offer new hope for
treating disease and injury to the central nervous system.
Michael Black received his B.Sc. from the University of British
Columbia (1985), his M.S. from Stanford (1989), and his Ph.D. in
computer science from Yale University in 1992. He has been a visiting
researcher at the NASA Ames Research Center and an Assistant Professor
in the Dept. of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. In
1993 Prof. Black joined the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center where he
managed the Image Understanding area and later founded the Digital
Video Analysis group. In 2000, Prof. Black joined the faculty of
Brown University where he is a Professor of Computer Science. In 1991
he received the IEEE Computer Society Outstanding Paper Award for his
work with P. Anandan on robust optical flow estimation. His work on
optical flow also received Honorable Mention for the Marr Prize in 1999
(with David Fleet) and 2005 (with Stefan Roth). Prof. Black's research
in machine vision includes optical flow estimation, human motion
analysis and probabilistic models of the visual world. In computational
neuroscience his work focuses on probabilistic models of the neural
code, the neural control of movement and the development of neural
prostheses that directly connect brains and machines to restore lost
function to the physically disabled.
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