Edward Boyden

Edward Boyden
MIT Media Lab, Synthetic Neurobiology Group, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, USA

Speaker of Workshop 3

Will talk about: Enabling Systematic Neuroscience with Novel Optical Neural Control Strategies

Bio sketch:

Vision: To engineer intelligent, targeted control interfaces for neural circuits, in order to repair pathology, augment cognition, and reveal new insights into the human condition.

Research and work activities

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (2007-present)
Assistant Professor, MIT Media Lab (Benesse Career Development Professor)
Joint Professor, MIT Department of Biological Engineering
Joint Professor, MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Leader, Synthetic Neurobiology Group
Developing tools for systematic analysis and engineering of the brain.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (2006-2007)
Visiting Scientist, MIT Media Lab; Leader, Neuroengineering and Neuromedia Group
Developing tools for systematic analysis and engineering of the brain.

Stanford University, Stanford, CA (2005-2006)
Helen Hay Whitney fellow, Depts. of Bioengineering, Applied Physics, Biological Sciences
Inventing optical methods for accelerating neuroscience progress.

Boyden Innovations, Cambridge, MA (2005-present)
Sole proprietor, Independent inventor
Developing novel medical devices and applications of physics to systematic bioengineering.

Stanford University, Stanford, CA (1999-2004)
Hertz predoctoral fellow, Program in Neurosciences, Depts. of Molecular and Cellular Physiology and Neurobiology, with Drs. Jennifer Raymond and Richard Tsien.
Studied how neural circuits selectively engage plasticity to store specific memories.
Developed optical methods for controlling neural activity.

Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies, Murray Hill, NJ (1998-99)
Research assistant, with Drs. Sebastian Seung and Michale Fee.
Created an elementary phase-resetting model of birdsong stochasticity.
Helped implement active electrode stabilizer for neural recordings in awake animals.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA (1998-99)
Graduate research, with Dr. Neil Gershenfeld.
Design and fabrication of prototype nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) quantum computer.
Engineered control software for the MIT ORCA-1 autonomous submarine.
Designed hardware for a MEMS accelerometer using electron-tunneling.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA (1996-98)
Research assistant, with Dr. Neil Gershenfeld.
Programmed machine-learning tools for reconstructing dynamics of a digital violin.
Created 3D, non-contact interactive design program based on electric field imaging of hands.

Activision, Inc., Santa Monica, CA (1997)
Research programmer
Designed real-time, physics-based animation engine for video games.

University of North Texas Chemistry Department, Denton, TX (1994-95)
Research assistant, with Dr. Paul Braterman
Research on the origins of life; synthesized and analyzed layered double hydroxides with intercalated anions.

Talk abstract:

Over the last several years our group has developed a rapidly-expanding suite of genetically-encoded reagents that enable powerful neural activation and silencing in response to pulses of light.  In order to enable these tools to be used for systematic analysis of the causal contribution of specific cell types, pathways, and brain regions to neural computations, behaviors, and pathologies, we are continuallly expanding this toolbox in quality and modality of control, and have begun to develop hardware to enable neural circuits to be perturbed in a three-dimensional fashion, and for the network-wide impact to be measured.  We explore how these tools can be used to enable systematic analysis of neural circuit functions, exploring the properties of neural circuits that mediate emotion, sensation, and movement, and that play roles in neurological and psychiatric disorders.  We also discuss the translational potential of such tools to potentially enable novel ultraprecise neuromodulation therapies.

 Boyden work image 1   Boyden work image 2

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