0T4 Dr. Shanechi has been featured in Popular Science Magazine
Brilliant 10: Maryam Shanechi Decodes The Brain To Unlock Its Potential
Building the next brain-machine interfaces
By Veronique Greenwood and Cassandra Willyard
Maryam Shanechi used to study wireless communications systems. Now she investigates a far more complex network: the billions of neurons that make up the human brain. Shanechi, a neuroengineer at the University of Southern California, is trying to crack the neural code to develop better brain-machine interfaces.
Existing devices simply translate the brain’s electrical signals into movement, enabling paralyzed people to move a computer cursor or a robotic arm. Shanechi applies control theory. In other words, she decodes neural activity from many parts of the brain to provide more-precise control. Next, she wants to translate those algorithms into signals the spinal cord can understand so paralyzed patients can move their own limbs. READ MORE