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Brain computer interfaces

  1. Mar 21, 2009 #1
    Would a PhD in neuroscience allow me to work with something like brain computer interfaces? Or would I need something like neural engineering? Or neurophysics? Or any of the above?

    If I wanted to do this, what kind of classes should I take as an undergrad? I'll be starting my junior year as a physics major this fall.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 21, 2009 #2
    A good background in signal processing and neuroscience would help. I think that the best overall option is to go for neural engineering. Check out the ph.d programs in Johns Hopkins, UCLA and Drexel. Also you might want to check out the Ed Boyden's lab website (MIT medialab)
  4. Mar 22, 2009 #3
    Calling a degree program "neurophysics" or "neuroengineering" as opposed to "neuroscience"... these are meaningless distinctions.

    I do BCI work myself...

    No one can really tell you what "courses to take" to work on cutting-edge research like this. You can read papers in the field and decide for yourself what you think you need to know. It's not clear yet what the best approach is, so if you have an idea that might work better (or just differently) from the other ones out there, then go for it!

    Is there anyone doing BCI-related research at your current institution? If so, you may want to talk to them and possibly volunteer (or work) in their lab.
  5. Mar 22, 2009 #4
    Nah, there isn't any BCI research here as far as I know. We have a small handful of people doing neuroscience research though. I'll get in contact with them and see if they're looking for any undergrads.

    The inklings that I got from scouring the web was that if I wanted to do this, I'd probably end up doing quantitative research, and that programming and probability/statistics knowledge is important. I co-op in a research lab and a large part of my job is programming, so I'll be graduating with a couple years of full-time programming experience, so I have that covered. I'm thinking I'll just take a couple of classes on statistics and probability and throw my name in the hat for a few neuroscience programs when I graduate, as I'm unsure of whether I'd rather do neuroscience or physics. Does this sound like a solid plan?
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