Next-Generation Brain Interfaces

Andrew Schwartz, University of Pittsburgh

Andrew Schwartz discusses how emerging computing interfaces will change medicine.

Andrew Schwartz, Distinguished Professor, University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Schwartz received his PhD from the University of Minnesota in 1984 and did postdoctoral work at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine with Dr. Apostolos Georgopoulos, who was developing the concept of directional tuning and population-based movement representation in the motor cortex. While there, Schwartz was instrumental in developing the basis for three-dimensional trajectory representation in the motor cortex. In 1988, he began his independent research career at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, where he developed a paradigm to explore the continuous cortical signals generated throughout volitional arm movements and then teamed up with engineering colleagues at Arizona State University to develop cortical neural prosthetics. The work has progressed to the point that human subjects can now use these recorded signals to control motorized arm and hand prosthetics to feed themselves and perform other tasks of daily living. Schwartz moved to the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego in 1995 and then to the University of Pittsburgh in 2002. In addition to the prosthetics work, he has continued to utilize neural trajectory representation to better understand the transformation from intended to actual movement using motor illusions in a virtual-reality environment.


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