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Dr. William Craelius, "Reaching for a Useful Arm Replacement"

Date: 11/17/05
Time: 4-5:30 with 3:30 reception
Audience: Public
Sponsored By: School of Science and Engineering
Location: Coykendall Science Building Auditorium
Contact: David Clark, x3524, clarkd@newpaltz.edu

In recent years prosthetic limb replacements have evolved from largely cosmetic attachments to increasingly sophisticated implementations of modern bio-engineering. This is particularly true of arms, where movements originate with a few neurons in the motor cortex that trigger a large neural net coordinating the activities of several effector muscles after receiving and processing feedback information from thousands of tactile, positional, and visual senses. How our sensorimotor system transforms this tangled mesh of millions of electrical pulses into graceful movements remains somewhat of a mystery. Nevertheless, bionics engineers, and their pioneering volunteers, are achieving a surprising degree of control by simply tapping into a very few neurons. In this lecture Dr. William Craelius, professor of Biomedical Engineering at Rutgers University, will address this apparent contradiction.