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Cracking the Neural Code for Speech

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Date and time
Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Science for the Public visit to the Neural Prosthesis Lab of Frank Guenther at Boston University. Dr. Guenther, Co-Director Jon Brumberg, and other members explain the significance of their research on speech production processes and the great advances underway in making communication possible for people who are unable to speak: victims of stroke, ALS and locked-in syndrome, for example. Dr. Guenther and his colleagues demonstrate the now-famous Brain-Computer-Interface device. Additionally, the members of the lab discuss the importance of an interdisciplinary approach in this field.

Frank Guenther is professor of speech language, & hearing sciences and biomedical engineering at Boston University. His research combines theoretical modeling with behavioral and neuroimaging experiments to characterize the neural computations underlying speech. He is the originator of the DIVA model, which provides a quantitative account of the neural computations underlying speech motor control and their breakdown in communication disorders such as stuttering and apraxia of speech. He also develops brain-machine interfaces to restore speech communication to individuals suffering from locked-in syndrome, characterized by complete paralysis with intact cognition.
Yvonne Stapp runs Science for the Public, a grassroots organization whose mission is to improve public understanding of science. Science is essential to the vitality of modern culture, and science depends on public commitment to the scientific community