Neuroengineering

Neural Engineering

Neural engineering (also known as Neuroengineering) is a discipline within biomedical engineering that uses engineering techniques to understand, repair, replace, enhance, or otherwise exploit the properties of neural systems. Neural engineers are uniquely qualified to solve design problems at the interface of living neural tissue and non-living constructs.

Overview

This field of engineering draws on the fields of computational neuroscience, experimental neuroscience, clinical neurology, electrical engineering and signal processing of living neural tissue, and encompasses elements from robotics, cybernetics, computer engineering, neural tissue engineering, materials science, and nanotechnology.

Prominent goals in the field include restoration and augmentation of human function via direct interactions between the nervous system and artificial devices.

Much current research is focused on understanding the coding and processing of information in the sensory and motor systems, quantifying how this processing is altered in the pathological state, and how it can be manipulated through interactions with artificial devices including brain-computer interfaces and neuroprosthetics.

Other research concentrates more on investigation by experimentation, including the use of neural implants connected with external technology.

Neurohydrodynamics is a division of neural engineering that focuses on hydrodynamics of the neurological system.

History

As neural engineering is a relatively new field, information and research relating to it is comparatively limited, although this is changing rapidly. The first journals specifically devoted to neural engineering, The Journal of Neural Engineering and The Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation both emerged in 2004. International conferences on neural engineering have been held by the IEEE since 2003, most recently from 29 April until 2 May 2009 in Antalya, Turkey 4th Conference on Neural Engineering and the 5th International IEEE EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering in April/May 2011 in CancĂșn, Mexico.

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