Precision Neural Dynamics Lab
Exploring how the brain puts thoughts into action by studying hand and arm movements.
Our lab is directed by Dr. Adam Rouse, an assistant professor and the director basic research in the Department of Neurosurgery.
We explore how the brain puts our thoughts into action. Healthy people use their arms and hands to make complex and precise movements while performing many activities of daily living. But people with neurological diseases or spinal cord injuries may be limited if their brains have trouble signaling their arms and hands to move. Neural interfacing technology, modern computer processing and robotics are leading to new ways we can help people with paralysis and movement disorders.
We collect and analyze large datasets looking at brain and spinal cord activity and behavior in animals, healthy humans and patients with neurologic disease. The number of nerve cells (neurons) in the brain and spinal cord that we can monitor simultaneously is growing rapidly and big data tools are allowing us to analyze and visualize the data in brand new ways. While in the past we may have only been able to say a neuron was connected to flex the elbow or extend the thumb, we now want to understand how a whole group of neurons work together to make coordinated movements like reaching and grasping, do it precisely, and make a corrective movement when needed.
Using advanced technology, we can monitor large numbers of nerve cells (neurons) in the brain and spinal cord in new and exciting ways. In turn, we can understand how groups of neurons work together to allow us to reach, grasp and perform other coordinated movements.
We are especially interested in how we can better use monitored neural signals to control external devices directly with brain-computer interfaces to restore lost function in people with paralysis and movement disorders.
Our experiments are designed to generate data that tests current computational models of the nervous system and we then create new computational models based on the experimental data. Because our lab is embedded in a clinical department, we interact with neurosurgeons and other clinicians regularly to address current, real-world health care challenges.
Evan Schrader – Research assistant
- Kevin Schwartze – Physiology Ph.D. student
- Wei-Hsien (Willy) Lee – Bioengineering Ph.D. student
- Jonathan Rogers – Electrical Engineering & Computer Science graduate student
- Bailey Yekzaman, M.D. – Neurosurgery resident
- Zihan Masood, M.D. – Neurosurgery resident
- Jean-Luc Kabangu, M.D. – Neurosurgery resident
- Colin Dallimore – Medical student
- Nathaniel Cameron – Medical student
- Lane Fry – Medical student
- Vivek Velagapudi – Medical student
- Diamond Brunt – Medical student
- Megan Vorhies – Medical student
- Xavier Scherschligt – MD-PhD student
The Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Kansas Medical Center is grateful for the generous support of the research of Adam Rouse, M.D., Ph.D., by the Frank L. and Evangeline A. Thompson Opportunity Fund at KU Endowment.