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This is Your Brain On Neuroprosthetics

Paralyzed patients are starting to walk with the aid of exoskeletons and doctors are testing artificial retinas in the blind thanks to neuroprosthetics: surgical brain implants that restore some function in patients with severe sensory, motor, and even memory disabilities. Today, noninvasive brain stimulators that improve people’s attention are already available over the counter and over the Internet. But these tools come with consequences. Where do we draw the line between risks and rewards, particularly when individuals without physical or mental impairments take advantage of the technology available? In this Salon, we will take a deep dive into the burgeoning field of neuroprosthetics, its repercussions, and its life-altering benefits.

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This is Your Brain On Neuroprosthetics

Paralyzed patients are starting to walk with the aid of exoskeletons and doctors are testing artificial retinas in the blind thanks to neuroprosthetics: surgical brain implants that restore some function in patients with severe sensory, motor, and even memory disabilities. Today, noninvasive brain stimulators that improve people’s attention are already available over the counter and over the Internet. But these tools come with consequences. Where do we draw the line between risks and rewards, particularly when individuals without physical or mental impairments take advantage of the technology available? In this Salon, we will take a deep dive into the burgeoning field of neuroprosthetics, its repercussions, and its life-altering benefits.

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Moderator

Guy McKhannNeurosurgeon, Neuroscientist

Guy McKhann has over 15 years of experience at Columbia/NYPH, combining clinical skill and compassionate care to maximize patient outcomes. He works with multidisciplinary teams to treat patients with a variety of brain conditions.

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Participants

Elisa KonofagouEngineer

Elisa Konofagou is Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Radiology, and Director of the Ultrasound and Elasticity Imaging Laboratory at Columbia University. Her main interests are in the development of novel elasticity imaging techniques and therapeutic ultrasound methods.

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Sri SarmaBiomedical Engineer

Sridevi Sarma received her B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University; and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She is now an assistant professor in the Institute for Computational Medicine, Department of Biomedical Engineering, at Johns Hopkins University.

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Philip SabesNeuroscientist

Philip Sabes is a neuroscientist, neural engineer, and a Lange Endowed Chair in Physiology at the University of California, San Francisco. He directs the UCSF Swartz Center for Theoretical Neuroscience and is a member of the UCSF Kavli Institute for Fundamental Neuroscience and the UCB/UCSF Center for Neural Engineering and Prostheses.

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Bijan PesaranNeuroscientist

Bijan Pesaran is an associate professor with the Center for Neural Science at New York University. Work in his lab seeks to understand and engineer the brain. He has pioneered the study of how populations of neurons communicate to guide behavior.

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