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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Interview with Robert Knight and Brian Pasley: Brain-Machine Interfaces: Neural Prosthetics and Patient Care

  • Author(s): Gururangan, Kapil;
  • Wang, Jingyan;
  • Bhat, Prashant;
  • Neogi, Sushrita;
  • Rosen, Jared
  • et al.

Professor Robert Knight served as the Director of the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute from 2001 to 2011 and has run a lab in human neuroscience within that institute since 1998. Using electrophysiological techniques, the Knight lab studies the role of the prefrontal cortex in human cognition. After graduating with a BS in Physics from the Illinois Institute of Technology, he earned his MD from Northwestern University, completed his neurology training at UC San Diego, and finished his post-doctoral work at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. In 2010, Professor Knight helped found the Center for Neural Engineering and Prosthesis, a joint program between UC Berkeley and UCSF focused on brain-machine interfaces.

Brian Pasley, a post-doctoral student in Dr. Knight’s lab since 2010, conceived the lab’s latest publication, which announced the possibility for scientists to reconstruct human speech from recorded brain activity. Both Pasley and Knight hope the research will lead to advances in neural prosthetics for patients with neurological disorders.

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