Rehabilitation of Sensorimotor Function through Human-Machine Interfaces

Cara Stepp, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Departments of CS and Engineering and Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington

Friday, February 4, 2011

This seminar is part of the Jones Seminars on Science, Technology, and Society series

Loss of sensorimotor function due to neurological impairment or injury can impede mobility, communication, and the ability to perform the activities necessary for independent living. Engineering offers unique tools that can be applied to improve the quality of life of individuals with sensorimotor injury. This presentation will introduce the use of multimodal sensory feedback and virtual reality to improve sensorimotor rehabilitation outcomes and chronic assistive device experience for individuals with neurological impairment or amputation. It will highlight some current projects in this area: sensory substitution for users of prosthetic hands, modulation of intermuscular coherence during fine motor control, and future work utilizing videogaming for swallowing rehabilitation.

About the Speaker

Cara E. Stepp received the S.B. in engineering science from Smith College, Northampton in 2004, the S.M. in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge in 2008, and the Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences & Technology, Cambridge in 2009. She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Washington in the Departments of Computer Science and Engineering and Rehabilitation Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA. Her research uses neural, electrical and mechanical engineering to design advanced therapeutic innovations for sensorimotor disorders.