Physical Models and Interfacing Technologies for Studying the Neuromuscular Control of Movement

Date: 
05/16/2012 - 10:30am to 11:30am
Speaker: 
Dr. Stephen DeWeerth, Biomedical Engineering, Khalifa University of Science, Technology, and Research
Location: 
Biomedical Sciences Building JG32

Movements such as locomotion and balance arise from complex nonlinear interactions between the nervous system and the mechanics of the body and the environment.  Our research group studies these interactions through the implementation, integration, and application of robotic systems and electrophysiological interfaces. For example, we have developed robotic systems and hybrid robot/muscle systems to study (1) the relationship between stance width, passive mechanics, and neural feedback gains during postural responses and (2) dynamic muscle function and power-amplification strategies in muscles.  We have also developed a number of technologies for fabricating stretchable microelectrode arrays that facilitate high-resolution stimulation and recording at the surface of the spinal cord and muscles.

Stephen P. DeWeerth is a Professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory, where he has been on the faculty since 1991.  He is presently on academic leave, serving as the Founding Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, UAE.  He received his M.S. in Computer Science and his Ph.D. in Computation and Neural Systems from the California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, USA).  His research areas include neuromuscular robotics and prosthetics, electrophysiological interfacing technologies, and real-time computational modeling of rhythmic movement.  He has published over 125 refereed papers, is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

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