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Leading Brain Scientist
Miguel Nicolelis, M.D., Ph.D., is the Duke School of Medicine Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience at Duke University, Professor of Neurobiology, Biomedical Engineering, Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychology and Neuroscience, and founder of Duke's Center for Neuroengineering. He is Founder and Scientific Director of the Edmond and Lily Safra International Institute for Neuroscience of Natal. Dr. Nicolelis is also founder of the Walk Again Project, an international consortium of scientists and engineers, dedicated to the development of an exoskeleton device to assist severely paralyzed patients in regaining full body mobility. Read More >
Dr. Nicolelis has dedicated his career to investigating how the brains of freely behaving animals encode sensory and motor information. As a result of his studies, Dr. Nicolelis was first to propose and demonstrate that animals and human subjects can utilize their electrical brain activity to directly control neuroprosthetic devices via brain-machine interfaces (BMI).
Over the past 25 years, Dr. Nicolelis pioneered and perfected the development of a new neurophysiological method, known today as chronic, multi-site, multi-electrode recordings. Using this approach in a variety of animal species, as well as in intra-operative procedures in human patients, Dr. Nicolelis launched a new field of investigation, which aims at measuring the concurrent activity and interactions of large populations of single neurons throughout the brain. Through his work, Dr. Nicolelis has discovered a series of key physiological principles that govern the operation of mammalian brain circuits.
Dr. Nicolelis’ pioneering BMI studies have become extremely influential since they offer potential new therapies for patients suffering from severe levels of paralysis, Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy. Today, numerous neuroscience laboratories in the US, Europe, Asia, and Latin America have incorporated Dr. Nicolelis' experimental paradigm to study a variety of mammalian neuronal systems. His research has influenced basic and applied research in computer science, robotics, and biomedical engineering.
Dr. Nicolelis is a member of the French and Brazilian Academies of Science and has authored over 200 manuscripts, edited numerous books and special journal publications, and holds three US patents. He is the author of Beyond Boundaries: The New Neuroscience of Connecting Brains with Machines and How It Will Change Our Lives; and co-authored The Relativistic Brain: How it Works and Why it Cannot be Simulated by a Turing Machine. Read Less ^
TED: Brain-To-Brain Communication
The Potential of Brain Research on the Future
TED: Can We Move Beyond The Machine-Brain Barrier?
"Miguel Nicolelis has produced a delightful and scientifically important work by combining stories of his life with reflections on the big questions in neuroscience. The progress he and his coworkers have made toward a future where humans can use brain activity to directly control computers and mechanical devices to restore lost motor and communication functions is both awe-inspiring and filled with hope."
"In this wonderfully vivid and fascinating book, Miguel Nicolelis describes a new view of the human brain, and how interfacing it to machines will have important implications for rehabilitation medicine and beyond."
"Here is the seminal guide to the latest in brain-machine interfaces and the incredible potential they hold to improve the human condition. From the first moment I heard about Miguel’s groundbreaking work in the hallways of Duke University, I knew he was doing something special. At once scientifically rich and readily accessible, it inspires both curiosity and hope from one of the field’s most important thinkers."
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