This story is from the category The Brain
Date posted: 09/05/2010
Researchers at four institutions, led by Stanford University and Brown University, have begun an effort with more than $14 million of federal funding to learn both how the brain and its microcircuitry react to sudden physiological changes and what can be done to encourage recovery from injury.
"This program is about conducting the fundamental neuroscience and developing the neurotechnology to ultimately enable an entirely new class of brain injury therapeutics," said Krishna Shenoy, an associate professor of electrical engineering and of bioengineering at Stanford.
"Using new tools like optogenetics, which enables us to interact with, and even temporarily turn off, active brain circuits in animals with pulses of light, our team can harmlessly simulate injuries and therefore learn more about how the brain responds when an injury occurs.
"The understanding of brain function that we create will help pave the way to new approaches to mitigating the effects of injury."
The project will yield new brain implant technologies that can both sense the brain's electrical signals and deliver optogenetic light pulses to neural tissue.
"To access and truly understand the operation of brain microcircuits and their function, the team will pursue a new generation of implantable optogenetic microdevices, with the ultimate aim of achieving a clinically useful, two-way communication link with the brain," said Arto Nurmikko, a professor of electrical engineering and physics at Brown.
See the full Story via external site: news.stanford.edu
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