This is Your Brain On Neuroprosthetics

Paralyzed patients are starting to walk with the aid of exoskeletons and doctors are testing artificial retinas in the blind thanks to neuroprosthetics: surgical brain implants that restore some function in patients with severe sensory, motor, and even memory disabilities. Today, noninvasive brain stimulators that improve people’s attention are already available over the counter and over the Internet. But these tools come with consequences. Where do we draw the line between risks and rewards, particularly when individuals without physical or mental impairments take advantage of the technology available? In this Salon, we will take a deep dive into the burgeoning field of neuroprosthetics, its repercussions, and its life-altering benefits.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation. Additional support provided by The Jackson Laboratory.

Original Program Date: June 4, 2016
MODERATOR: Guy McKhann
PARTICIPANTS: Elisa Konofagou, Bijan Pesaran, Philip Sabes, Sri Sarma

Participant Introductions 00:05

An introduction of Neuroprosthetics 3:00

What is the importance to model neural networks. 10:23

Examples of neural network models 16:00

How far can we advance modeling before going into the brain? 21:20

Do we understand how ultrasound is advancing neural network models? 26:55

How do we develop a brain prosthetic from these models? 30:53

How do we narrow down to such a small area of the brain to make a prosthesis? 40:03

How can we use machine learning to advance this process? 51:38

What conditions are appropriate for Neuroprosthetics? 56:13

Should Neuroprosthetics be considered in advance to treat the effects of Alzheimer’s? 1:06:20

Do non localized connections in the brain affect Neuroprosthetics? 1:10:18

Will restorative functions be used to advance the human race? 1:14:15

What are the next practical areas we will see these techniques be used? 1:19:20

How do scientists communicate with each other to develop these technologies? 1:23:57
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