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.


To better understand what is happening with neural signals in the brain, scientists continue to develop ways to simultaneously probe and manipulate neurons during simple tasks, like moving a cursor on a screen.

Now, a team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology led by Polina Anikeeva, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering, have created polymer probes that will enable a more detailed manipulation and analysis of neural circuits deep in the brain than achievable before.

There’s a lot to see each year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), billed as the largest trade show in the world. If you’re interested in drones, the latest in 3D printing (a drum kit and guitar, clothing), a new car or a fitness tracker, you’ll find it at the CES.

Last summer, a group of Seattle-area high school teachers developed an “Introduction to Neural Engineering Neuroprosthetics & Brain-Computer Interfaces” curriculum as part of the Research Experience for Teachers program at the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering.

Over the course of seven weeks, the teachers wrote 11 lesson plans and corresponding lab work to help students better understand the basics of neural engineering.  The curriculum was designed to support science teachers in meeting the engineering design standards featured in the Next Generation Science Standards.

Kayla Brown, 26, is a graduate student in the School of Social Work at the University of Washington (UW). A self-described activist with an interest in social justice, Brown works at DO-IT, a center that supports students who are disabled and interested in STEM (science, technology, education and mathematics). 

DO-IT stands for disabilities, opportunities, internetworking and technology. Staff and leaders from DO-IT work closely with the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE).

As part of her job, Brown works one-on-one with people with disabilities. She facilitates mentoring sessions and works with students on transitioning to college and stays in contact throughout the year.

When four University of Washington students won a tech design competition last March at the CSNE, that might have been the end of the story. But it's not. Since that time, team vHAB has continued to refine and improve on the virtualy reality rehabilitation system they created for the competition. They've worked closely with the UW's Center for Commercialization and have received funding from the Coulter Foundation.