Neurotechnology


Neurotechnology
Photo: Simon Lind Kappel and Lise Balsby, AU.

Neurotechnology is technology related to investigation and interfacing to neural systems. Neurotechnology is an interdisciplinary field based on electrical engineering, electromagnetism, biophysics, neurophysiology and mathematical modelling. Neurotechnology combines sensor technologies, electronic instrumentation, signal processing and machine learning methods. 

The Neurotechnology group is focusing on electrophysiological methods, and in particular researching technologies and methods enabling brain monitoring out-of-the-lab in real-life. This is important in order to understand the functions of the human brain in real life, and in order to interface the human brain with technology.

A specific example of this is the so-called ear-EEG technique, in which electrical brain activity (EEG) can be recorded from electrodes placed in, or in the vicinity, of the outer ear. The Neurotechnology group has been one of the leading pioneers of this technique, and has made significant contribution to the development of the electrode and electronic instrumentation technology, to the signal processing methods, and to characterization of the ear-EEG signals. The Neurotechnology group has, in collaboration with academic, clinical and commercial partners, investigated numerous applications including hearing threshold estimation, prediction of hypoglycemic seizures (severe insulin chock in diabetics), detection of epileptic seizures, and sleep staging.

The ear-EEG technology is, together with more invasive techniques such as subcutaneous EEG and electrocorticography (ECoG), the most promising technologies for real life brain monitoring. These technologies will enable e.g. early diagnosis of neurological diseases, monitoring of psychiatric diseases, and estimation of mental states such as fatigue and cognitive functions.