Neural Engineering and Imaging

Neural Engineering applies engineering principles to fundamental questions in neuroscience and to the development of treatments for neurological disorders. Specific interests include analyzing nervous system function at multiple levels including single channel, single cell, tissue, whole animal, and human cognitive levels. We integrate experimental insights with computational modeling and pursue translational research through the NYCBE.  The collaborative dynamic within the Neural Engineering group is extremely evident, with shared resources for whole-brain electrophysiology (EEG) in various applications.  

The following laboratories are within our Neural Engineering & Imaging focus area:


Applied Bioelectricity, Neurophysiology, and Medical Devices Laboratory

Principal Investigator: Dr. Marom Bikson

The Applied Bioelectricity, Neurophysiology, and Medical Devices Laboratory explores the basic mechanisms by which electrical fields affect brain function.  This research addresses potential risks of human exposure to weak (power lines and mobile phones) and advantages of exposure to strong (electrical prosthesis and deep brain stimulation) electromagnetic fields.  This work has been applied to the development of innovative diagnostic and therapeutic technologies for exploring cognitive function and to the design of electrical prostheses for restoring CNS and PNS function.  Additional research involves elucidating the neuronal network dynamics, including non-synaptic mechanisms, facilitating emergent physiological (“gamma”/cognition) and pathological (epilepsy) network oscillations.  This research is done using state-of-the-art electrophysiology and microscopy equipment that allows the monitoring of bioelectrical activity generated by populations of neurons and by single visualized neurons.


Signals and Computation Laboratory

Principal Investigator: Dr. Lucas Parra

The Signals and Computation Laboratory focuses on developing signal analysis tools for imaging the CNS, specifically they emphasize using multivariation signal analysis and probabilistic modeling. Functional imaging studies analyze processes involved in human auditory and visual perception and attention. Experimental techniques focus on interpreting and modulating human brain activity non-invasively using EEG and trans-cranial electrical stimulation (reading and writing the brain with electrical fields). This work is generally coupled with auditory and visual psychophysics, along with computational and mathematical models.  

The laboratory of Prof Parra focuses on interpreting and modulating human brain activity non-invasively using electro-encephalography and trans-cranial electrical stimulation (reading and writing the brain with electrical fields). His group emphasizes multivariate signal analysis as well as computational and probabilistic modeling. In humans the work is often coupled with auditory and visual psychophysics. In-vitro electro-physiology and computational modeling is used to elucidate the cellular mechanisms of action of electric field. The work finds applications in areas such as tinnitus, stoke, and other neurological disorder. These technologies have also a number of applications for healthy individuals such as improving cognitive performance and predicting population behavior.


The Neural Systems Laboratory  

Principal Investigator: Dr. Simon Kelly 

The Neural Systems Laboratory is focused on measuring and characterizing perceptual and cognitive brain signals that relate to behavior. They are particularly interested in linking non-invasively recorded electrical brain signals (EEG) in humans to specific neural computations involved in perception, attention and decision-making. The main focus is on paradigm development and basic research findings, however they continually deploy such paradigms and dependent measures to studies of neurological and psychiatric disorders through several active clinical collaborations.


Biomedical Instrumentation and Rapid Prototyping

Our group leverages the tremendous rapid prototyping and fabrication infrastructure of the CCNY Grove School of Engineering and the translational expertise of the NYCBE hospital.

Addressing medical needs and developing innovative medical device treatments requires a rational pipe-line that spans basic scientific discovery, IP, medical device design, regulatory, and clinical trials.  The CCNY Neural Engineering group and our partners are one of the few academic centers in the world with integrated expertese spanning these areas.  Our group supports external commercial partners and start-up efforts including Soterx Medical Inc.  and Neuromattes Inc.  Dr. Marom Bikson is director of the Kaylie Prize in Entrepreneurship part of the Zahn Center.


Please visit the home-page of the CCNY Neural Engineering group for more details on ongoing projects at CCNY Neural Engineering