Neural machinery, natural and designed
The neurons in our brain responsible for sensation are activated by particular features in our environment, such as a certain touch or sound. The features that a given neuron represents, however, can change throughout life. This property, known as “plasticity,” is fundamental to learning and memory. Tomer Langberg will discuss the neural activity underlying sensory perception and how this activity may be altered in some autism spectrum disorders.
New understanding of the peripheral nervous system and advances in micro-electronics have given rise to a new field known as electroceuticals. Instead of drugs, new medical treatments may utilize tiny electronic devices injected into the body that monitor and adjust how organs function. Ryan will discuss the concepts that make such treatments possible as well as the future potential and limitations of this technology.