Hand to Brain: Sensation, Perception and Cognition in Neuroprosthesis


Event details

Date and time 16.04.2019 12:1513:15  
Place and room
Speaker Prof Nitish V. Thakor, Johns Hopkins University, USA & Singapore Institute for Neurotechnology, SG.
Category Conferences - Seminars

Restoration of upper limb function has been an exciting recent research frontier with outstanding demonstration of brain control of prosthetic limbs, thus providing a degree of motor control. More recent action has been in giving sensations to the amputees.  So, the current questions are centered around how the sensory signals get relayed to the brain of the amputee, or more specifically, how to capture sensations, code for perception and understand the cognition of this sensory information? I will give a 3-part talk: 1) present the current state of the art of tactile sensors, as well as our work on biomimetic sensors for tactile sensation, 2) encoding the tactile information and how it can be used for neuromorphic pattern recognition and eliciting perception, and 3) how the encoded information can be received by the brain and some source localization and graph theory models for analyzing the brain signals. I will conclude with my thought on the future work in this field to improve the sensor technologies with flexible/stretchable materials, develop devices for nerve interface and algorithms for neural encoding, and advance our understanding of the brain sources and networks involved in sensory perception and cognition.

Nitish V. Thakor is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University since 1983.  He has also been the Professor of Biomedical Engineering and served as the Director of Singapore Institute for Neurotechnology at the National University of Singapore since 2012.  Prof. Thakor’s technical expertise is in the field of Neuroengineering, where he has pioneered many technologies for brain monitoring to prosthetic arms and neuroprosthesis. He has published over 390 refereed journal papers (Google H-Index 73, >25,000 citations). He has also more than 20 patents issued or pending and co-founded 3 active companies. He is currently the Editor in Chief of Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing, and was the Editor in Chief of IEEE TNSRE from 2005-2011. He has chaired many workshops, technical activities and significant IEEE conferences such as the first IEEE Grand Challenges in Life Sciences (2012) and IEEE BIOROB (2016).  Prof. Thakor is a recipient of a Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health and a Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation, and is a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, Life Fellow of IEEE, Founding Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society, and Fellow of International Federation of Medical and Biological Engineering.  He is a recipient of the award of the Academic Career Award and Technical Excellence in Neuroengineering from IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, Distinguished Alumnus Award from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India, and a Centennial Medal from the University of Wisconsin School of Engineering.