An Adventure Abroad in Brain-Machine Interfaces

Matthew McCann, Pratt ’16, spent his summer translating thoughts into movements. A biomedical engineering and mathematics major, the Duke senior contributed to work in the field of prosthetics by creating a brain-machine interface that senses different brain waves of a subject and converts them into movements of a mechanical hand. McCann, who had never traveled to Europe, let alone lived there for three months, took his foreign adventure one step further and pursued cutting-edge research in Rand Almajidy’s biomedical engineering lab in Germany. McCann was paired with the University of Freiburg for a Research Internship in Science and Engineering by the German Academic Exchange Service. McCann combined two prominent biomedical techniques, tri-polar concentric electroencephalograms (tEEG) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), to pick up the brain activity of his subjects. EEGs are…

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