Merging Minds and Machines is part of the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2021. We explore the field of Neural Interfaces (also called Brain-Computer Interfaces) from the scientific, surgical, technological and ethical points of view.
What is the nervous system? What are neural interfaces? What do they do? What can we expect in the future? Explore our interactive city to find out!
Each brain is unique, so how do scientists calibrate brain implants? They first have to "map" the brain. In this game you will have to make your own brain map by figuring out which regions of the brain will allow your cursor to move in which direction in order to grab the blocks and move them to their correct position.
How to play: click and move the cursor on different areas of the brain to find out how the claw moves and try to grab the shapes and move them in their holder!
How do scientist figure out which neuron is talking at any time? They observe the shape of the signal recorded and use algorithms to assign each shape to a neuron. In this game, you'll be able to look at different signals and sort them in their specific shape, in what we call "spike sorting".
How to play: match the moving spike to one of the four templates at the bottom of the screen (clicking/tapping or typing the correct key). The game will become more difficult with time, e.g. the spikes will become slightly distorted.
Meet The Team
The Next Generation Neural Interfaces lab is an international, multidisciplinary and highly dedicated team. We are creating innovative neurotechnologies that enable communication between the nervous system and electronic devices.Our ultimate goal is to develop devices that interface with neural pathways for restoring lost function in sensory, cognitive and motor impaired patients. Current projects focus on brain machine interfaces, epilepsy, sleep and dementia.
Dr Timothy Constandinou
Dr Timothy Constandinou is a Reader in Neural Microsystems at Imperial College London and also Deputy Director of the Centre for Bio-inspired Technology. Dr Constandinou received BEng and PhD degrees in Electronic Engineering from Imperial College London in 2001 and 2005, respectively. He leads the Next Generation Neural Interfaces (NGNI) Lab at Imperial. His group creates innovative neurotechnologies to enable communication between the nervous system and electronic devices -- for research tools and medical devices.
Prof Andrew Jackson
Professor Andrew Jackson a Professor of Neural Interfaces and a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow at Newcastle University. He received an MPhys in physics from Oxford University in 1998 and a PhD in neuroscience from University College London in 2002. His scientific interests include the neural mechanisms of motor control, spinal cord physiology, oscillations, sleep and cortical plasticity. This basic research informs the development of neural interface technology for stroke, spinal cord injury, and epilepsy.
Dr Sarah Chan
Dr Sarah Chan is a Chancellor’s Fellow at the Usher Institute for Population Health Sciences and Informatics, University of Edinburgh. She graduated from the University of Melbourne with the degrees of LLB and BSc(Hons) and spent some years as a laboratory scientist in the field of molecular biology before moving to work in science policy and bioethics. She received an MA in Health Care Ethics and Law and a PhD in Bioethics from the University of Manchester. Her research interests and publications cover areas including the ethics of stem cell and embryo research and reproductive medicine, gene therapy and genetic modification, human enhancement, animal ethics and research ethics.
Mr Jinendra Ekanayake
Mr Jinendra Ekanayake is an academic neurosurgeon, and an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at Imperial College London. He qualified from Kings College School of Medicine and Dentistry in 2000, together with an intercalated BSc in Neuropharmacology. He completed his neurosurgical training at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in 2015, and completed a PhD thesis in non-invasive brain machine interfaces at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London in 2016. His neurosurgical interests are in neurovascular neurosurgery, and his research involves translational applications of neuroimaging and neuromodulation, and the development of novel neurosurgical devices.