U-M seeds high-risk, high-payoff research under MiBrain Initiative

MiBrain Initiative Dan Ferris Rachael Seidler

Movement Science professors Dan Ferris and Rachael Seidler each recently received $100,000 grants from the U-M MiBrain Initiative.

Developed in response to a federal call to boost understanding of the complexities of the brain through development of new technologies, the MiBrain Initiative challenges U-M faculty to propose innovative, high-risk strategies to study neural circuits, leading to a better understanding of emotions, movement, and cellular diversity.

Dr. Ferris and co-PI Dr. Euisik Yoon, from the department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, will research, “A Novel Electroencephalography System that is Free from Motion Artifacts.” The goal of the project is, “to develop an innovative new electroencephalography (EEG) system that can record electrocortical activity completely void of motion artifacts. The proposed EEG system would allow for better basic science studies on humans during walking and running, and will be able to improve clinical diagnoses of movement disorders.”

Dr. Seidler and co-PI Dr. Catherine Sienko, from the department of Mechanical Engineering, will research, “Multisensory Integration and Reweighting Dynamics.” “Our goal is to study integration of vestibular, visual and tactile somatosensory inputs in human subjects using cutting edge functional MRI analytical techniques. Our approach will allow us to identify human brain networks which specifically process tactile, visual, and vestibular inputs in a distinctive fashion (i.e. unimodal brain regions), as well as brain networks responsible for multisensory integration. This work will critically advance our understanding of the neural bases of sensory weighting and integration for motor control, particularly in terms of vestibular function. This may lead to new interventions for those with sensory deficits that affect functional motor control, such as the balance impairments seen in those with diabetic sensory neuropathy or older adults with vestibular dysfunction.”

Congratulations, Drs. Ferris and Seidler!

Read the University Record article: bit.ly/1UsTOM8



Artwork: "PLoSBiol4.e126.Fig6fNeuron" by Wei-Chung Allen Lee, Hayden Huang, Guoping Feng, Joshua R. Sanes, Emery N. Brown, Peter T. So, Elly Nedivi - Dynamic Remodeling of Dendritic Arbors in GABAergic Interneurons of Adult Visual Cortex. Lee WCA, Huang H, Feng G, Sanes JR, Brown EN, et al. PLoS Biology Vol. 4, No. 2, e29. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0040029, Figure 6f, slightly altered (plus scalebar, minus letter "f".). Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Commons