Carnegie Mellon University

Futures of Neural Computation and Technology Workshop (FUNCT{}) Webinar

The Carnegie Mellon Neuroscience Institute (NI) hosted an online workshop called Futures of Neural Computation and Technology Workshop (FUNCT{}) scheduled for July 8-9, 2020. 

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Neuroscience, Biology, Engineering and Technology disciplines are building bridges to advance the field of brain research in many exciting and innovative ways. 

This workshop is the first in a series of topical workshops being sponsored by the CMU Neuroscience Institute (NI), each of which will focus on a research area that is poised to be a driving influence on neuroscience research in the twenty-first century. 

FUNCT{} will not only highlight the state of the art, but also to give people the room to dream about the future and the role their own research will play. The sessions are organized into four topical sessions on Reading the Brain, Optics, Brain Theory, and Decoding the Brain. 


Tzahi Cohen-Karni (CMU: Biomedical Engineering/Neuroscience Institute/Materials Engineering) 

Eric Yttri  (CMU: Biological Sciences/Neuroscience Institute)


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Wednesday, July 8 

12:00: Welcome

12:10: Mikael Eliasson, Global Head Innovation & PHC, Neuroscience Product Development,


12:25: Doug Weber, Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
Implantable, injectable, and wearable devices for sensing and controlling neuromechanical systems

Brain Theory

What does it mean to understand how does the brain works? This session seeks to pose these questions and potentially examine them in the context of specific computations.

1:20: Eric Yttri, Biological Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University 
Translating neural signals into complex behavior

1:40: Sridevi Sarma, Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University 
Uncovering consistent principles of how cortical regions interact to generate behaviors from inconsistent neural recordings across subjects

2:20: Pulkit Grover, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
Information flows in the brain: How do we define them, and what technology do we need to estimate them?

2:40: Steve Chase, Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
Dissecting motor learning processes with brain-computer interfaces

3:00: Break


This session will explore the basic science and translational advances that can be made by decoding actions, sensations, or latent behavioral states directly from recorded neural activity.

3:10: Matt Smith, Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University 
Decoding local and global cognitive signals from neuronal populations

3:30: Eva Dyer, Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Tech
Comparing high-dimensional neural recordings across time, space, and behavior

4:10: Byron Yu, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
Revealing constraints on learning using dimensionality reduction and
brain-computer interfaces

4:30: Closing Remarks

Thursday, July 9 

Reading the brain 

Can we peek into the electrical and electrochemical information flow in the brain? This session will present cutting-edge materials and engineered technologies to do so.

12:00: Rahul Panat, Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
Micro and nanoscale additive manufacturing of neural devices

12:20: Cindy Chestek, Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan
Neural interfaces for controlling finger movements

1:00: Tzahi Cohen-Karni, Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
Bioelectronics with nanocarbons

1:20: Flavia Vitale, Neurology, University of Pennsylvania
High-resolution, multimodal neural interfaces from nanoscale soft conductors

2:00: Break


The advent of powerful light-based methods such as Optogenetics, Calcium imaging and functional nearinfrared spectroscopy has revolutionized studying brain circuits. This session will explore photonic devices and optical methods to interface with the brain.


2:10: Maysam Chamanzar, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
Next generation neurophotonic interfaces

2:30: Jacob Robinson, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rice University
Optical and magnetic brain interfaces

3:10: Jana Kainerstorfer, Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
Changes in neurovascular coupling in the context of brain injury and elevated intracranial pressure

3:30: Anna Devor, Biomedical Engineering, Boston University
Optical imaging of cerebral blood flow and metabolism

4:10: Konrad Kording, Bioengineering and Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania
Tech development and the underlying questions we ask

4:50: Closing Remarks
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Alphabetical speaker list and talk titles