Questions for Neural Engineering Including general 'discussion topics' of broad medical and health importance that the course will touch upon. Also include suggestions for final project topics
Neural Engineering on Wikipedia (link) - as part of this course every student might write a contribution here or on a specific topic
Neural Engineering research at the CCNY Neural Engineering Lab. NeuralEngr
Lets start with a motivating TED talk all about Neural Engineering and medical device development by pioneer Robert Fischell
In this course we will understand how each of these technologies works- as well as consider how they can be improved.
...as well as two none technical profiles from the New Yorker
Steve Jobs This New Yorker profile describes Jobs as a "Tweaker" rather than an "Inventor". Lets keep this in mind as we discuss Neural Engineering technology, fundamentals, and device.
Peter Thiel The New Yorker describes Thiel as maybe the "most successful technology investor in the world". But Thiel is dissapointed with the impact of technology saying "We wanted flying cars, instead we got 150 characters [twitter]". How much has Neural Engineering changes the world and can it produce the next "flying cars" of medicine?
Part 1: How the brain works.
If you don't know how it works you can't fix it. Good news is that electrical engineering is the ideal basis for quantifying brain function.
In this course we will just cover some basic on "brain excitability" that will allow us to design brain interface and stimulation devices in part 2.
Brain Function Book/Chapter Reading:
Neuroscience Book A "staple" of graduate Neuroscience - touches on most central topics in brain , geared largely for non-engineers
Modeling the brain (with electrical circuits)
Models and our ability to understand how the brain works go hand-in-hand. Later on, they also allow us to design brain interface and brain stimulation technology
Though over 50 years old, Hodgin-Huxley types neuron models dominate how we model the brain including for brain stimulation (see numerical models below). So we need to understand this stuff - to help there are plenty of free simple simulators ready to play with:
These simulators allow you to electrically stimulate the HH neuron with an INTRA-CELLULAR current pulse - this is great to understand the role of pulse shape etc...but keep in mind all clinical brain stimulation stuff is EXTRA-CELLULAR stimulation- discussed in the next part of the course."
To be complete we need to mention that there are other ways to model neurons and the following talk does a nice job of summarizing them:
A nice set of lecture slides by Larry Yaeger on computer modeling of Spiking Neurons (from simple to HH) link
Paper by Davide at CCNY This is getting ahead of where we are at this point in the course -Rather technical reading, but to show: This is one of a few examples of a simpler (non-HH) model being used successfully to model brain stimulation
Trade Articles on Brain Function and Disease
Brain Facts An review or "lay-people" on how the brain works and breaks