News

Take me out to the ball game!

The Guenther Lab recently left the confines of the lab to take part in an all American pastime – baseball! We are fortunate enough to be steps away from historic Fenway Park so we got ourselves organized, thanks to Dr. Matthias Heyne, and headed to see the Boston Red Sox battle the Baltimore Orioles in a late season game on September 26th, 2018. We couldn’t have asked for better weather, highs in the 80’s were a treat for the late September day. The original game day was the day before but due to rain, it was postponed. Our luck continued as we watched 5 home runs among the 22 hits and all time best 107th victory at Fenway!

In attendance (from left): Dr. Elaine Kearney, Dr. Frank Guenther, Barbara Holland, Dr. Matthias Heyne, Saul Frankford and Dante Smith.

 

Guenther Lab brain-machine interface research featured on MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory website

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Dr. Frank Guenther and former Guenther lab graduate student Andres F. Salazar-Gomez are featured in an article on human-robot interactions on the MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory’s (CSAIL) website titled: How to control robots with brainwaves and hand gestures.

This article discusses a paper  authored by MIT researchers along with Dr. Guenther and Dr. Salazar-Gomez titled Plug-and-Play Supervisory Control Using Muscle and Brain Signals for Real-Time Gesture and Error Detection.  

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Conference on Motor Speech – Guenther lab participation

Many members of the Guenther Lab recently attended the Nineteenth Biennial Conference on Motor Speech in Savannah, Georgia, Feb 22 – 25, 2018. Principal Investigator Dr. Frank Guenther gave a talk titled, Quantitatively Assessing the DIVA Model with Neuroimaging

IMG_7956Dr. Jason Tourville presented a poster titled,  Functional boundaries within the cortical speech motor control network.

 

IMG_7958Graduate student Saul Frankford presented a poster titled,  Impaired responses to time-shifting perturbations in adults who stutter during rhythmic and non-rhythmic speech.

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Dante Smith presents his research at the Society for Neuroscience 2017 meeting in Washington D.C.

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From November 11 – 15, 2017, graduate student Dante Smith had the opportunity to attend the Society for Neuroscience 2017 meeting and present his research.

At this meeting he presented a poster on his project investigating voice motor control, and the vocal responses by human subjects when they experienced changes to their somatosensory feedback. In these experiments, participants vocalized a steady-state vowel, while having the position of their larynx non-invasively displaced. These participants could not hear their own voice during this task, by method of loud masking noise present in headphones, and thus any recorded response was a result of correcting for changes to their somatosensory feedback. Characterizing how participants modulate their voice to correct for errors will improve our understanding of voice motor control and allow for the creation of more robust and efficient voice disorder therapies.

Dante’s poster received interest and feedback from students, post-docs and professors working in speech neuroscience, computational neuroscience, and rehabilitation science. While making new contacts with international researchers and shared ideas on experimental design, analysis of speech samples, and speech motor control theory, Dante looks forward to his next scientific conference where he can further share projects and ideas about speech neuroscience.

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Our new lab space is up and running!

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The summer of 2017 brought many changes for the Guenther Lab, the most noticeable being our relocation of our main lab space at 635 Commonwealth Ave to 677 Beacon Street. After months of construction, packing, and finally the big move, the new lab is fully operational! Here are a few pictures of the new space.

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Guenther lab members present at the 7th International Conference on Speech Motor Control

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The Guenther Lab’s Principal Investigator, Frank Guenther, and Assistant Director, Jason Tourville recently attended the 7th International Conference on Speech Motor Control held in Groningen, the Netherlands. The conference, which takes place roughly once every 5 years, brings together colleagues from leading research groups that study speech motor control and related disorders.

During the “Windows on the Brain” session, Dr. Tourville discussed efforts to leverage the lab’s large database of speech production fMRI data to identify reliable functional boundaries within the speech motor control neural network. Later in the session, Dr. Guenther described a framework that we have developed to quantitatively assess neurocomputational models of speech production using neuroimaging data.

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Presentation given by Assistant Professor Jason Tourville.

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Enjoying some down time in Groningen, from left: Dr. Jason Whifield, Anna Gravelin, Dr. John Houde, Gabe  Cler, Dr. Frank Guenther, Liz Heller Murray, Dr. Cara Stepp, Dr. Jay Bohland,  Dr. Catherine Theys, Dr. Jason Tourville

 

Press coverage of our error-detecting robotic brain-computer interface

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Our brain-computer interface that detects when a human observer sees a robot making a mistake has gotten a lot of press coverage in the past two weeks, including articles on NPR, Newsweek, Canadian Broadcast Corporation, Wired, New Scientist, Discover, and over 100 other popular and scientific news outlets. Congratulations to Guenther Lab PhD student Andrés Salazar-Gómez as well as our collaborators in the Rus Lab at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory!

The feedback system allows the operator to correct the robot's mistake in real time.

Oculomotor brain-computer interface article published

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Decoding of intended saccade direction in an oculomotor brain-computer interface

In collaboration with Prof. Earl Miller’s lab at MIT, several lab members, including first author Nan Jia, worked on a novel BCI paradigm involving the eye movement system in the brain. By implanting microarrays in multiple prefrontal areas in monkeys, high online BCI performance was achieved using novel LFP signals. This study is one of the first to demonstrate and explore the feasibility to utilize the oculomotor system for BCI purposes.

Dissertation Defense – Nan Jia

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Notice of Dissertation Defense

Nan Jia
Candidate for the degree of Ph.D. in Cognitive and Neural Systems

Title: DEVELOPING AN OCULOMOTOR BRAIN-COMPUTER INTERFACE AND CHARACTERIZING ITS DYNAMIC FUNCTIONAL NETWORK

Friday, December 9, 2016
1:30 pm
CompNet Building Room B02

Boston University
Graduate Program for Neuroscience
677 Beacon Street
Boston

(Advisor: Professor Frank Guenther)

Nan Jia Abstract