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The Brain Initiative Funds Deep Exploration of Brain-Machine Interfaces

Image credit: DARPA/SUBNETS
Image credit: DARPA/SUBNETS

With $26 million for a five year project that began on June 1st, the Center for Neural Engineering and Prostheses (CNEP) group, which includes the Knight Lab, is developing brain-machine interfaces with an initial focus on repairing the faulty brain circuits underlying the anxiety and depression often present in epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. Researchers expect this work to shed valuable light on a range of psychiatric disorders. Brain recordings, which will be made by high-resolution devices resting directly on patients’ brains, should reveal in detail how brain activity changes when patients enter a depressed or anxious state, data that have been unobtainable before recent technological advances.

An Open Data Policy for Publicly Funded Brain Research

Because these data are so valuable and so challenging to obtain, all recordings—stripped of patients’ identities—will be deposited in accessible databases for the use of researchers around the world.

The work is part of President Obama’s BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative to develop new tools for treating, curing and even preventing a range of brain disorders, via a grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency DARPA. This video provides an overview of the vision guiding the CNEP Brain-Machine Interface project.

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