The IEEE Brain Initiative eNewsletter is a quarterly online publication launched in January 2017. It features practical and timely information and forward-looking commentary on neurotechnologies and neuroengineering. eNewsletter articles can describe recent breakthroughs in research, primers on methods of interests, or report recent events such as conferences or workshops. You can contact the eNewsletter editor with any questions concerning the topic or content of your article.

Top Posts

Wireless Miniature Freely-Floating Optogenetic Stimulation Implant

Communicated by Dr. Jun Wang

RESEARCH

December 2021

Linran Zhao, Wen Li, Maysam Ghovanloo, Yaoyao Jia

There is an increasing realization that the majority of brain functions relate to a large distributed network of neurons that are spread over different interconnected regions of the brain. Thus, neural recording and modulation of the future will require the ability to simultaneously interface with multiple neural sites distributed over a large brain area. Traditional methods for modulating neuronal function have relied on direct stimulation by tiny electrodes, which effectiveness is undermined by the limited spatial and temporal precision with which individual cells can be selectively targeted. The emergence of optogenetic stimulation provides distinct advantages over electrical stimulation, such as cell-type specificity, sub-millisecond temporal precision, and rapid reversibility. Optogenetic neuromodulation has the potential to revolutionize the study of how neurons operate as members of larger networks and may ultimately help patients suffering from neurological disorders. Hence, we aspire to design a distributed wireless neural interface framework to stimulate large-scale neuronal ensembles over large brain areas. The distributed framework includes an array of tiny, wireless, and highly efficient implants, each of which operates autonomously to stimulate neural activities.

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Spherical Biomimetic Eyes with Nanowire Arrays: From design to application

Communicated by Dr. Yiwen Wang

RESEARCH

December 2021

Leilei Gu, Yucheng Ding, Zhiyong Fan

“To see is to believe”. High-performance imaging devices are essential in society, particularly in the current age of Artificial Intelligence (AI) +. The biological eyes have been polished by natural selection for millions of years and their function has been verified by the diverse environment. Learning from the masterpiece of nature is therefore a shortcut to improve our manmade systems. As one of the wisest creatures in nature, human eyes are advanced image sensing systems with superiorities such as high resolution, wide field-of-view (FoV), high energy efficiency, and strong accommodations. Their high performance originates from the combined effect of a vastly flexible optical system, high-density and sensitive photoreceptor arrays, and powerful neural networks from both retina and cortex. The human eyes have a spherical shape with a hemispherical retina. A hemispherical shape matches well with the Petzval surface, which is the theoretical focal plane of the spherical lens, leading to clear and sharp imaging. In regular cameras, to mitigate the mismatching in planar structure, a delicate lens array has to be inserted to gradually bend the focal plane into quasi-flat. In our cell phones, there are 10-16 lens. With a well-designed hemispherical image sensor, high-quality imaging with a simple structure can be achieved.

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IEEE BrainInsight

Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering: Accelerating Neurotechnology Development

RESEARCH
T. Laabs

Tech billionaires are investing in neurotechnology with optimism. Elon Musk, Brian Johnson and Marc Zuckerberg, to name a few, cite enhancing human intelligence, boosting memory, and electronically sharing full sensory and emotional experiences as their goals. But is money enough to drive a revolution in neurotech or could the readiness level of the technology curtail their ambitions?

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IEEE DataPort

OPINION

Would you like to get more exposure for your valuable Brain or Neuroscience research? Do you have datasets that require long-term storage and easy access long-term? You are invited to experience the exciting new data repository developed by IEEE called IEEE DataPort™! This IEEE data repository offers many benefits to researchers, data analysts, and institutions around the globe, and it is currently available at no cost.

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Call for Participation: 2017 IEEE Brain Data Bank Challenges and Competitions

EVENTS

The IEEE Brain Initiative, in partnership with the IEEE Big Data Initiative and the IEEE Consumer Electronics Society, is excited to sponsor new competition opportunities throughout 2017, to explore Brain Data storage retrieval and analytics, the so called Brain Data Bank (BDB) Competitions. This “Call for Participation” is an extension of the popular brain-computer interface (BCI) Hackathons held in the prior year.

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Welcome to BrainInsight

R. Chavarriaga

Welcome to the inaugural issue of BrainInsight, a quarterly online publication of the IEEE brain initiative. This is a space for the IEEE Brain community to share technical information and forward-looking commentary on brain-related research and technologies.

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A Long Path Towards Restoring Locomotion After Spinal Cord Injury

RESEARCH
M. Capogrosso, T. Milekovic, G. Courtine

A century of research in spinal cord physiology has demonstrated that the circuits embedded in the lumbar spinal cord of mammals can autonomously produce repetitive patterns of motor activity resembling locomotion [1]. After a spinal cord injury (SCI), however, the neural pathways carrying information between the brain and these spinal circuits, usually located below the injury, are partly or completely interrupted. While the lumbar circuits are intact, this interruption disrupts or abolishes volitional leg movements.

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