VAST 216

Technological Telepathy: Advances in Brain-Machine Interface Technology

Instructor:  Lisa Gabel

Office:  303 Oechsle Hall

Office Phone:  330-5296


This course may be used as an elective for the Health Care and Society minor.
This course may be used to satisfy the ES 225 requirement.

Course Description: The notion that the brain can be directly accessed to allow a human being to control an external device with his or her thoughts alone is emerging as a real option in patients with motor disabilities. This area of study, known as neuroprosthetics, has sought to create devices known as "brain-machine interfaces" (BMIs) that acquire brain signals and translate them into machine commands that reflect the intentions of the user. In the past 20 years, the field has rapidly progressed from fundamental neuroscientific discovery to initial translational applications. In this course we will explore the development, organization, and functioning of the nervous system, discuss where the field is now, and what the future holds for BMI technology. Lastly, we will explore the ethical challenges faced by practitioners working in the field.