Broad Area Colloquium For AI-Geometry-Graphics-Robotics-Vision
(CS 528)

Motor and Communication Prostheses

Professor Krishna Shenoy
October 24, 2005, 4:15PM
Hewlett (TCSeq) 200


Our seemingly effortless ability to reach out and swat a fly or grab a cup belies the sophisticated neural computations at work in our nervous system. It has long been recognized that, before moving, we somehow prepare neural activity such that, when called upon, the desired movement unfolds. But the goals of movement preparation and the underlying neural mechanisms remain poorly understood. I will describe our recent electrophysiological investigations of how cerebral (pre-motor) cortex prepares and helps execute movements. Our results suggest that the brain is attempting to optimize preparatory neural activity and can delay movement until this activity is sufficiently accurate. With an increased understanding of movement planning, it is also possible to design real-time electronic systems capable of translating neural plans into prosthetic movements. I will also describe our recent electrophysiological investigations aimed at establishing the fundamental, neurobiologically dictated performance limits of communication prostheses. Our results suggest that at least a factor of four performance improvement is possible, which is essential for starting to assess the potential benefits of clinical cortically-controlled prosthetic systems.

About the Speaker

Professor Shenoy heads the Neural Prosthetic Systems Laboratory at Stanford University. His research group conducts neuroscience (systems & cognitive neuroscience) and neuroengineering (electrical, bio, and biomedical engineering) research. The group investigates the neural basis of sensorimotor integration and coordination, and designs neural prosthetic systems to assist disabled patients. Professor Shenoy teaches EE101B Circuits II and EE418 Topics in Neuroengineering.

Professor Shenoy received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of California at Irvine in 1990 (Summa Cum Laude), the S.M. degree in Electrical Engineering from MIT in 1992, and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from MIT in 1995. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Biology at Caltech from 1995-2001. In 2001 Professor Shenoy joined the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, where he is also a member of the Neurosciences Program (School of Medicine) and is affiliated with Stanford's Bio-X Program, Biodesign Program, and NIS (Neurosciences Institute at Stanford). Honors and awards include NSF and Hertz Foundation graduate fellowships, the 1996 Hertz Foundation Doctoral Thesis Prize, an NIH postdoctoral fellowship, a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences, the William George Hoover Faculty Scholar in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, the Robert N. Noyce Family Scholar in the Stanford University School of Engineering, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, and Defense Sciences Research Council (DSRC/DARPA) fellow and member. Dr. Shenoy is a member of the IEEE (Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS), Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi, Society for Neuroscience and Neural Control of Movement Society.


Back to the Colloquium Page