Severe Traumatic Brain Injury (sTBI)
The overarching goal of our laboratory is to combine electrical engineering and computational neuroscience to develop an intelligent neurostimulation paradigm to improve the pathological state of the brain in disorders of consciousness. This approach can be extended to other pathological neurological conditions. We have identified the Thalamo-cortical loop in the brain to be responsible for consciousness and recovery in coma patients. We are exploring the safety and effectiveness of deep brain stimulation to restore this connectivity. In parallel, we are working towards identifying objective clinical metrics that can be used in prognosis as well as to assess the improvement or deterioration of the patient condition. Not only does this guide physician decisions, but this would improve our ability to measure whether a prospective treatment is taking effect.
Novel Facial Recognition Software to Identify Mood
In the current study, we use a novel, real-time mood assessment tool that tracks subtle facial movements in order to reliably differentiate happy and sad mood states in our healthy subjects. These minute changes in facial expression with mood state go unnoticed to the naked eye yet are readily discernible after our analysis. Our results highlight the intriguing utility of this technique in mood detection as well as in more broad clinical monitoring settings.