Computer Science Colloquium - Stephen Van Wert
Thu, October 5th, 2017
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Treating the Brain with Electronics and Code: A Computational Neuroscience Perspective
The use of electrical stimulation to treat the brain has become more prevalent in recent decades, with FDA-approved devices like deep brain stimulators being used to treat a range of disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. These devices have proven their effectiveness, but there are still many improvements that can be made with regard to their safety, efficiency, and efficacy. Computational models of the brain at the cellular level can be used not only for generating hypotheses about the brain’s response to treatment but also for direct use in software-based control loops that continuously assess the health of the brain and deliver optimal treatment stimuli. Equipping these devices with model-based control software requires tools from many fields, particularly computer science and neuroscience. The focus of the presentation will be a broad overview of the state of electrical stimulation as treatment for the brain, as well as current efforts to improve and utilize computational models that advance the treatment potential of these technologies.