Elementary Students Try Neuroprosthetics with Nealen During Brain Awareness Week

Posted on 4/2/2018 10:03:56 AM

Student reacting to learning about learned about the output signals the brain generates to cause skeletal muscle contractionsBrain Awareness Week is an international effort by neuroscience societies to promote public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research.

Each March, thousands of neuroscience researchers and educators sponsor Brain Awareness Week activities and events for students across the globe. Paul Nealen (Biology) joined the effort by holding an educational session titled “Eavesdropping on the Brain,” in which elementary school students learned about the output signals the brain generates to cause skeletal muscle contractions. 

Student learning about the output signals the brain generates to cause skeletal muscle contractionsThe class discussed the advancing technology of brain-machine interfaces, drawing inspiration from multiple sources, including science fiction and robotics. The students also tried to control a neuroprosthetic robotic claw to grasp and lift small objects, a feat that is very challenging, but which some students mastered quickly.

Nealen also provided a series of neuroscience workbooks and puzzles for inclusion into science lessons beyond his visit.

Students learning about the output signals the brain generates to cause skeletal muscle contractionsTo learn more about Brain Awareness Week, visit the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives.

Department of Biology