From Artificial Limbs to Virtual Reality: How the Brain Represents the Body

Saturday, February 19, 2011: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
146A (Washington Convention Center )
For all the technical progress in neuroscience in recent decades, answers to the question of how we perceive our own bodies and interact with our world are just emerging. To understand just how humans interact with external objects -- when reaching for a glass of water or going through a doorway -- we need to understand how the brain processes information about the body in space and time. The brain’s fundamental role in recognizing the body as an object in the world may hold precious answers to fundamental questions in psychology, artificial intelligence, neuroprosthetics, rehabilitation, and more. This symposium explores body representation from a wide range of perspectives: behavioral neurobiology, noninvasive human-machine interfaces, evolutionary robotics, motor cortex rehabilitation, and virtual reality. These studies are providing clues to phenomena such as out-of-body experiences, leading to artificial intelligence capable of reproducing itself, and helping to clarify our own evolutionary history. Current research with human-machine interfaces is aiding rehabilitation in the disabled, and experiments with virtual reality are leading to new directions for the future of the field.
Michael D. Mitchell, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Christian Simm, swissnex San Francisco
Christian Simm, swissnex San Francisco
Todd Kuiken, Northwestern University and Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
A Neural Interface for Artificial Limbs: Targeted Muscle Reinnervation
Olaf Blanke, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
The Neuroscience of Self-Consciousness: From the Body to Subjectivity
Miguel Nicolelis, Duke University Center for Neuroengineering
Freeing the Brain from the Body
Hod Lipson, Cornell University
Self-Reflective Machines
Mel Slater, ICREA-University of Barcelona & University College London
Body Representation in Immersive Virtual Reality
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