Engage and Enable Blog

The aim of this blog is to show what’s happening at the Center for Neurotechnology among its faculty, student and staff members. To learn more about the center and its work, visit our Feature Stories page.


Mickey Gendler talks about the future of assistive devices, his daily challenges

Gendler, in a still taken from a Wash State Assoc for Justice videoIt’s 90 degrees in Seattle and Mickey Gendler is one of the few people in the city who actually appreciates the heat. His temperature sensitivity is one of the things he’s living with, after a spinal cord injury that happened eight years ago.

“Before my injury, I would walk around the house in shorts and a t-shirt and set the thermostat at 62,” Gendler said. “My wife would be freezing. And now, she comes in and throws the windows open and claims I’m boiling her out of the house.”

Aiva, graduate student, helps Claudia in a SpikerBox workshopWorking in STEM (science, technology, mathematic and engineering) as a woman can be challenging.

Several high-profile news stories in the last month offer a peek at the sometimes uphill battle: “Comments on ‘girls’ in science highlight persistent gap in field” from The Boston Globe and “Science postdoc told to grin and bear prof’s wandering eye” from the Chicago Tribune.

A Young Scholars Program participant at work in the labThe Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering has hosted a total of 16 students in the Young Scholars Program (YSP), a model developed and supported by the National Science Foundation, over the last few years.

The YSP provides summer research experiences for high school students and aims to develop students’ knowledge and skills related to sensorimotor neural engineering.

Imagine moving a mechanical arm just by thinking about it, or playing a video game using only your mind. Scientists and engineers have been developing this technology for decades. It's called brain-computer interfaces.

Description of stiff knee gait, a condition that may happen after a strokeIf you had a prosthetic limb, you might find it helpful to be able to better sense where the limb is or actually feel ownership of it. If you struggle from vertigo, a sensation of spinning related to problems with the inner ear, you might benefit from a system that helps ease the dizziness. And if you’ve had a stroke, you might want to use a technology that helps you improve the way you walk.

These technologies and systems were on display by three teams during the 2015 Tech Sandbox Competition, a course at the University of Washington created by Dr. Lise Johnson, university education manager at the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering.