Principles of Neuroengineering

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MIT Course Number: MAS.881
Instructor: E.S. Boyden
Units: H-level ~ 3-0-9 Units
Time: Tuesdays, 3-4:30pm
Place: Room E15-235


Covers principles underlying current and future technologies for brain analysis and engineering, for neurology, psychiatry, and neuroscience. Focuses on using biophysical, biochemical, and anatomical models to understand technology design constraints governing ability to observe and alter brain function. Topics include functional magnetic resonance imaging, electromagnetic recording/stimulation, neuropharmacology, optical cellular imaging, and gene/stem-cell therapy. Design projects by student teams. Enrollment limited to 28 students.



Part I. The Primitives for Engineering the Brain

Tu 9/11, Overview of course, personal introductions.
Th 9/13, Circuit elements of the nervous system. Channels, receptors, neurons, glia, blood flow.
Tu 9/18, Circuit elements of the nervous system. Paper discussions.
Th 9/20, Macroscopic circuits. Structure and connectivity of brain regions; circuit dynamics and emergent circuit properties.
Tu 9/25, Macroscopic circuits. Paper discussions.
Th 9/27, Microcircuits. Precise connectivity of neural circuits; cell types and disease; gliocircuits.
Tu 10/2, Microcircuits. Paper discussions.

Part II. Technologies for Readout

Th 10/4, Noninvasive macrocircuit readout. EEG, MEG, PET, fMRI, NIR, hardware, contrast agents.
Th 10/11, Noninvasive macrocircuit readout. Paper discussions.
Tu 10/16, Midterm presentations.
Th 10/18, Microcircuit readout. Electrode arrays, endoscopes, dyes, fluorophores, genetically-encoded sensors.
Tu 10/23, Microcircuit readout. Paper discussions.

Part III. Technologies for Stimulation and Control

Th 10/25, Microcircuit stimulation. Nanowires, infrared optical stimulation, channelrhodopsin-2/halorhodopsin.
Tu 10/30, Microcircuit stimulation. Paper discussions.
Th 11/1, Macrocircuit stimulation, invasive. Electrode arrays, DBS.
Tu 11/13, Macrocircuit stimulation, invasive. Paper discussions.
Th 11/15, Macrocircuit stimulation, noninvasive. TMS, tDCS, effects on cognition, neurology, psychiatry.
Tu 11/27, Macrocircuit stimulation, noninvasive. Paper discussions.
Th 11/29, Molecular and cellular alteration. Gene therapy, stem cells, and regeneration.

Part IV. Final Presentations

Tu 12/4, Final presentations.
Th 12/6, Final presentations.
Tu 12/11, Final presentations (overflow day).