Written By: Claire Rowley

In today’s world, novel thinking is required to provide new answers to old questions about the world. The upcoming neural engineering undergraduate degree hopes to provide this ability to students, especially for solving challenges in biotechnology and neuroscience with the application of engineering and math. Under review, this major was put into production by Dr. Brad Sutton and Dr. Andrew Smith, along with other neuroscience-focused faculty in Bioengineering and other related disciplines. Both their knowledge and backgrounds comprehensively reflect the understandings of this course path.

Dr. Brad Sutton received a B.S in general engineering from the…

Written by: Joseph Jefrin

Dr. Jont Allen is an accomplished electrical engineer and a neurotechnology industry veteran. He started his career in 1970 as an electrical engineer in the Acoustics Research Department at AT&T Bell Labs (after 1998, AT&T Labs). There he developed an interest in the signal processing of sound, cochlear function, and speech perception. At Bell Labs, he wrote many journal publications on hearing, cochlear modeling, signal processing, room acoustics, speech perception, and the articulation index. It was also there that he led the development of the first commercial multiband wideband dynamic range compression (WDRC) hearing aid (ReSound).

Professor Jont Allen — University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

Written By: Chaahat Gurnani, Palak Purwar, and Shalini Yagnik

Source: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2191814-we-may-finally-know-what-causes-alzheimers-and-how-to-stop-it/

Alzheimer’s is one of the leading causes of death in the world, with more than 5 million Americans living with the disease (Alzheimer’s association). With the increase of Alzheimer’s cases in the world and with no cure yet found, the importance of researching more about the disease and being able to start treatment at early onset is vital for the well-being of patients and their family. Through important technological advancements, doctors will have better tools for Alzheimer’s identification and origin. …

Written By: Jennifer Huan, Daniel Kiernan, and Anisha Bhole

Source: https://nanfoundation.org/neurologic-disorders-2/epilepsy/what-is-epilepsy

Seizures are one of the most common brain conditions in the United States which are caused by a sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain. When a seizure occurs, individuals may experience different levels of loss of consciousness or control of their bodies. Seizures that occur more than two times are more aptly categorized as epilepsy. According to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention, “In 2015, 1.2% of the US population had active epilepsy. This is about 3.4 million people with epilepsy nationwide: 3 million adults and 470,000 children.”

Written By: Jefrin Joseph, Claire Rowley, Abhi Misra

Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by the loss or death of neurons in the brain, causing symptoms such as tremors, stiffness, and difficulty walking among others that affect over 10 million people worldwide. These neurons are essential to performing vital functions and producing neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine. As time goes on, these symptoms become more extreme in Parkinson’s patients. …

Written By: Joe Taylor

Source: Sara Cheshire “Brain Pictures” 13 June 2008.

Science fiction movies across time have frequently shown robotic limbs and prosthetics that could easily function as substitutes for our organic appendages and in some cases even perform much better than them as well. Just science fiction? Well maybe not. There have been advances in neuroscience technology that have allowed this fantasy to possibly become a reality in the near future. With the development of Brain-Computer Interfaces or BCIs this dream gets closer with each passing day. Bidirectional Brain Computer Interfaces advance the traditional goal of controlling prosthetic devices to combining neural decoding and encoding within…

Written By: Tiffany Jong, Yan Luo, Ayush Agarwal, Robbie Ingram, Kavya Sood, Veeresh Neralagi

Components of a BCI system (Image from: NCBI https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3497935/)


Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs) allow us to record and interpret signals from the brain, enabling us to explore new treatment methods for neurological diseases. BCIs are able to assist with treatments such as rehabilitating the motor functions of paralyzed patients, improving/recovering sensory processing abilities, and improving the ​rehabilitation of sensorimotor function after a stroke (1). However, different treatment methods will utilize different types of BCIs. When developing treatments for diseases, it’s important to first differentiate between the two main types of BCIs: invasive and non-invasive.

NeuroTech @ UIUC

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