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Wednesday, 03 October 2018

Braincom Summer School in Barcelona

Braincom is a collaborative European research project led by ICN2 to drive the development of neural interfaces able to record and interpret brain activity at source. Last month project partners came to Barcelona for a dedicated summer school.

Braincom is a collaborative European research project to drive the development of neural interfaces able to record and interpret brain activity at source. Work is focused on signals from the brain’s distributed speech centres, and on the use of nanomaterials like graphene and organic polymers for ultra-slim implants able to process data at unprecedented volumes.

Last month the project consortium, hailing from six European countries, gathered for a three-day summer school aimed at providing a space for meaningful interaction between Braincom researchers at all levels. Reflecting their diverse backgrounds, talks ranged from reviews of the engineering and technical issues, to discussions of the surgical and patient care challenges, and of the ethical considerations of the technology being developed.

Joining the consortium were ICREA Prof. Ruth de Diego of the Universitat de Barcelona and Dr Gerard Conesa, neurosurgeon and head of neurosurgery at Hospital del Mar and Hospital de la Santa Creu i San Pau, both in Barcelona. Their talks gave valuable insights into the mechanisms underlying how new words are learned in the brain, and how language centres are identified and protected during brain surgery.

Coordinated from the ICN2 by ICREA Prof. Jose A Garrido, leader of the ICN2 Advanced Electronic Materials and Devices Group, the Braincom project is nearing the halfway mark. To keep abreast of project updates, visit the website.