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Neurosciences Faculty Forum – Jun Yao, David Moorman, Luke Remage-Healey
July 24 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
David Moorman Luke Remage-Healey Jun Yao
Assistant Professor Associate Professor Assistant Professor
Psychological and Brain Psychological and Brain Electrical and
Sciences Sciences Computer Engineering Moorman Lab Healey Lab Yao Research Group
Weds, July 24, 12:00 -1:00
423 Tobin Hall
Next-generation mesh electrode arrays for large-scale, minimally-invasive, long-term neuron ensemble recording
Sensations and behaviors are encoded by dynamic activity distributed across populations, or ensembles of neurons. This activity can change over short and long periods of time, such as throughout learning or disease progression. The ability to track and manipulate the activity of large populations of neurons in behaving animals with high spatiotemporal resolution for long durations is crucial for a thorough understanding of nervous system function, but has been limited to date. Developing new tools in this domain is one primary goal of the US BRAIN initiative.
Neural implants have been an important tool for the readout and control of neural activity. The close proximity to nervous tissue through physical interfaces (e.g., electrodes implanted in the brain) results in high spatiotemporal signal resolution that is otherwise difficult to obtain using noninvasive technologies. Such capability has directly led to groundbreaking discoveries such as place and grid cells. Still, challenges remain in achieving minimal invasiveness to brain tissue and maintaining a stable neural interface for long periods of time. For example, an enduring challenge has been the injury and immune responses caused by rigid probes implanted in soft tissue like the brain, which often limits the temporal and spatial resolution of long-term recordings.
The aim of this project is to develop a new generation of mesh-electrode probe, which can enable (1) simplified and efficient implant to non-expert users, (2) reduced tissue damage in the surgical procedure and recording process, (3) enable long-term (months) recording of many single neurons. We will discuss current techniques in neural recording and how our proposed advances will address some of the key missing elements. We will also discuss ideas for funding opportunities and will solicit input on how the development of this technology could be maximally useful to the UMass Neuroscience community.