Posted in Center News: Friday, April 6, 2018
by Samuel Dunn
A three-year, $130,000 Chuck Noll Foundation grant has been awarded to CSoI faculty member Dr. Pulkit Grover of Carnegie Mellon University and his collaborators Dr. Marlene Behrmann, Dr. Michael Tarr, Dr. Shawn Kelly, Dr. Jonathan Elmer, and Dr. Lori Shutter. This grant will fund their investigations into developing new and innovative methods for monitoring and treating concussions.
This project continues previous work by these engineers and neuroscientists in which they developed a new high-density EEG which will potentially allow medical researchers and professionals to create images of the brain’s neural activity with higher spatial resolution than has been possible previously. With their newly funded project, the research group aims to use this high-density EEG to refine methods for detecting early on if/when brain injuries are worsening. In particular, they hope to create an automated system of detection and suppression of “brain tsunamis.”
A brain tsunami is a neurological event that can occur several days after severe head trauma and that can be responsible for causing additional brain damage. The ability to identify brain tsunamis early on might potentially allow individuals who suffer brain trauma to avoid brain damage beyond that caused by the original trauma, and even retain much of their original brain function. Currently there does not exist an easy, noninvasive method for identifying these brain tsunamis, but Grover and his collaborators hope to refine their new high-density EEG to provide such a method.
In a press release from Carnegie Mellon University, Dr. Grover noted the contribution of information theory in this research, stating, “It is exciting to see how this novel technology, obtained from information-theoretic principles, can change how we do neuroscience and clinical diagnoses. Brain injuries are an extremely important societal challenge, with 1.7 million sufferers in the US every year.”
Grover and his co-investigators are members of the joint Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh venture, Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition.