Photo: A noninvasive brain-computer interface based on EEG recordings from the scalp. Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE), Photo by Mark Stone, CC BY-ND
UW Bioengineering Ph.D. student James Wu has co-authored an article for The Conversation US with Rajesh Rao, adjunct faculty in BioE, professor of computer science and engineering and director of the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering. In “Melding mind and machine: How close are we?” Wu and Dr. Rao discuss historical efforts to connect the brain with technology to enhance human capabilities. They explain how researchers at the CSNE and elsewhere aim to create brain-computer interfaces that restore bodily functions for people with paralysis and motor disabilities. Such work has demonstrated the potential of BCI’s to strengthen connections within the nervous system and reanimate a paralyzed limb. Despite these successes, Wu and Dr. Rao caution that this work is still in early stages, and talk about the challenges neural engineers face as they strive to create technologies that improve quality of life for people living with sensorimotor challenges.
The Conversation is an independent source for informed commentary and analysis, written by the academic and research community and edited by journalists for the general public. The site offers expert commentary on the big issues of the day, and the latest research news and breakthroughs.