August 25, 2017

Colloquium Speaker: Brock Wester and Nathan Crone

Dr. Brock Wester is a Project Manager and Section Supervisor for the Applied Neuroscience area in the Intelligent Systems Group of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory’s Research and Exploratory Development Department.  He is also the Vice Chair of the Applied Biomedical Engineering Program at the Johns Hopkins University Engineering for Professionals Program.  Brock received a B.S. degree in Computer Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA) in 2004, and a joint Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University (Atlanta, GA).

Brock’s research areas include virtual environments, user interfaces, augmented and virtual reality, brain–computer and neural interfaces, prosthetics, neuroconnectomics, control systems, traumatic brain injury, blast injury, and MEMS microfabrication and packaging. Brock has authored 20 research papers and book chapters in the fields of user interfaces, brain recording and electrophysiology, prosthetics, microfabrication, control systems, and traumatic brain injury.

Dr. Nathan Crone focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of seizures and epilepsy, including the surgical treatment of epilepsy. He is also one of the attending physicians in the Epilepsy monitoring unit. Dr. Crone''s research interests include the real-time mapping of brain function to reduce the possibility of impacting brain function during surgery for epilepsy, as well as working to identify and validate electrophysiological signatures of human cortical processing and to use them to study the neural mechanisms of motor, sensory, and language functions.  He received his medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine. He then completed his residency in neurology at the University of Chicago and fellowships in epilepsy and cognitive neurology at Johns Hopkins.


Colloquium Topic: Individual Finger Control of the Modular Prosthetic Limb (MPL) Using Electrocorticography (ECoG)

Through a collaborative research effort between JHU/APL and the JHU School of Medicine, we have been investigating the use of neural signals collected from electrocorticography in humans to control the Modular Prosthetic Limb (MPL) in real time.  In this study, we were able to isolate neural signatures that coded for the movement of individual fingers.  This was the first ever demonstration of an ability to derive these signals from the brain in real time and use them to effect distinct individual finger movement in an advanced upper extremity prosthetic device.

In this presentation, we will discuss the history of the collaborative effort, and this particular use of native sensorimotor representations of fingers in a brain–machine interface (BMI) to achieve immediate online control of individual prosthetic fingers.