Electrical and Computer Engineering

WIMS Seminar

Low-Power Integrated Electronics for Large-Scale Neural Recording

Professor Reid Harrison
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Reid R. Harrison,
Associate Professor,
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
University of Utah

In the past decade, neuroscientists and clinicians have begun to use implantable MEMS multielectrode arrays to observe simultaneous activity of many neurons in the brain. Recent experiments have shown that it is possible to develop neuroprosthetic devices—machines controlled directly by thoughts—if the activity of multiple neurons can be observed. Currently, data is recorded from implanted multielectrode arrays using bundles of fine wires and head-mounted connectors; all electronics for amplification and recording is external to the body. This method of relaying data introduces risk of infection, electrical noise pickup, and extra size and mass to the neural recording system. To eliminate these problems, we are developing fully integrated CMOS electronics to amplify weak extracellular signals near the recording site, digitize and compress this information, and relay the neural signals out of the body wirelessly. Our circuit design focuses on low-power operation, as elevated temperatures can easily kill neurons. Circuit and system-level design trade-offs will be discussed, and data from in-vivo experiments will be presented.

Reid Harrison received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Florida, Gainesville, in 1994, and the Ph.D. degree from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, in 2000. He joined the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, in 2000, where he is now an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Bioengineering. He has over 40 refereed publications since 1999, in the fields of low-power analog and mixed-signal CMOS circuit design, integrated electronics for neural interfaces and other biomedical devices, and hardware for biologically inspired computational systems.

Dr. Harrison organized the 2001 IEEE SSCTC Workshop on Low-Power Circuits in Arlington, VA. He received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2002. In 2006, he received the ISSCC Jack Raper Award for Outstanding Technology Directions paper. He serves on the Technical Program Committees of the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) and the IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS).

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WIMS ERC Seminar Series