NICHE PROGRAMS: NEURAL ENGINEERING
Neural Engineering is an emerging discipline that uses engineering techniques to investigate the function and manipulate the behavior of living neural tissue, with the goal of enhancing human performance and information processing capabilities. This interdisciplinary specialty draws upon the fields of computational and experimental neuroscience, clinical neurology, robotics, signal processing, incorporation tissue engineering, materials science, and nanotechnology.
. . . . . Neural engineering is recognized to be one of the premiere growth areas of the 21st century . . . .
Neural engineering is recognized to be one of the premiere growth areas of the 21st century. The field encompasses several research areas: basic research on the nervous system; development and application of specialized technologies for medical diagnosis and treatment of nervous system disorders; and rehabilitation applications to improve recovery from stroke and other neurological disorders. NJIT is focusing on research into neural plasticity, the flexible nature of neurons that allows them to be “retrained” for different functions.
Some projects in neural engineering include:
- USING ROBOTIC TECHNOLOGY: Richard Foulds and Sergei Adamovich, associate professors of biomedical engineering, are using virtual reality and robotics to help patients of stroke and cerebral palsy. Read more.
- UNDERSTANDING BRAIN FUNCTION: Tara Alvarez, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, is studying how the brain divides and controls its tasks to send and receive information. Read more.
Several researchers in the Mathematical Sciences Department study related areas:
- HOW THE NERVOUS SYSTEM WORKS: Jorge Golowasch, associate professor of mathematical sciences and biology, studies mechanisms that enable neurons to recover from disruptions due to growth, learning and injury. Read more.
- CHARTING NEURAL RHYTHMS: Farzan Nadim,, associate professor of mathematics, studies the nervous systems of crabs and lobsters to gain insights into neurological disorders such as epilepsy. Read more.
- UNDERSTANDING NEURAL NETWORKS: New insight into short-term synaptic plasticity (STSP) – the ability of a synapse to change in strength based on how it is being used – is the goal of Amitabha Bose, associate professor of mathematical sciences. Read more.