Neuroprosthetics & Brain-Computer Interfaces

The CNT has lesson plans developed by teachers who took part in the Research Experience for Teachers program. Introduction to Neural Engineering: Neuroprosthetics & Brain-Computer Interfaces was created in 2014 and is aimed at high school students and advanced middle school students. The 11-lesson curriculum unit provides an introduction to neuroprosthetics and brain-computer interfaces.

TeachEngineering has a Humans are Like Robots curriculum unit developed by the Computational Neurobiology Center at the University of Missouri. The four-lesson unit helps students to see connections between robots and humans, with a focus on sensory and motor functions. The unit includes an engineering design challenge using LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT robots.

Also featured on TeachEngineering, How Do Sensors Work? focuses on the function of human and robotic sensors and connects with concepts of sensorimotor neural engineering. This unit is also developed by the University of Missouri.

BioMedTech: Bionic Arm, created by Duke's Pratt School of Engineering, engages middle schoolers in developing a prosthetic arm. The lesson plan combines concepts from electrical, mechanical and biomedical engineering. Students create a rudimentary touch sensor showing them how electrical engineering may be used to create a prosthetic device.

Backyard Brains offers affordable neuroscience and neural engineering kits and lesson plans. You and your students can explore concepts in electrophysiology and neural engineering by recording neural spikes from a cockroach leg, measuring your own EMG (electromyography) signals and more.

Brain-computer interfaces and brain-machine interfaces are a major focus in neural engineering. This article from Frontiers for Young Minds introduces the concept of brain-machine interfaces.

"Smart Bionic Limbs are Reengineering the Human" describes the machine intelligence approach being used by scientists to create bionic limbs. This article was published in 2012 in Popular Mechanics.  

A brief article for high school students about smart prosthetic arms, "Neuroprosthetics: Once More, With Feeling" is available from the journal, Nature.

Many neuroprosthetics communicate with the human body through the use of EMG, EEG, or ECoG biosignals. The article "Neuroprosthetics" from The Scientist provides an explanation of EEG and ECoG.