Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technologies in Medicine
Research: Body-brain cybernetics
Neuronal information flow between body and brain
How do signals originating within the internal and superficial layers of the body influence our decisions and actions? We study the neural networks that link body sensors to skeletomuscular effectors (“body-brain cybernetics”). Specifically, we make use of modern neurobiological tools to unveil the large-scale networks linking body parts to molecularly identified neurons in the brain. Methodologically, we use the vertebrate feeding system, including predatory hunting, to model body-brain communication. With clear behavioral readouts, feeding and prey capture are ideally suited for studying how body sensors generate motor actions.
Artificial Intelligence and Craniofacial Motor Control
We are part of the Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technologies in Medicine Training Program. We are currently developing algorithms and interfaces for closed-loop control of motor networks, with a particular interest in craniofacial systems. These studies overlap with our analyses of bite force generation during prey capture. Our long-term aim is to develop brain stimulation therapies to ameliorate dysphagia and dysarthria of motor diseases.
de Araujo et al. (2020) Rethinking Food Reward. Annual Review of Psychology 71:139-164
Han et al. (2018) A Neural Circuit for Gut-Induced Reward. Cell 175(3):665-678.
Han et al. (2017). Integrated Control of Predatory Hunting by the Central Nucleus of the Amygdala. Cell 168(1-2):311-324.
Tellez et al. (2016) Separate Circuitries Encode the Hedonic and Nutritional Values of Sugar. Nature Neuroscience 19(3):465-70.
Han et al. (2016) Striatal Dopamine Links Gastrointestinal Rerouting to Altered Sweet Appetite. Cell Metabolism 23(1):103-12.
Tellez et al. (2013) A gut lipid messenger links excess dietary fat to dopamine deficiency. Science 341:800-2.[/et_pb_toggle]
Gut-Brain Communication: To control identified neuron types in periphery that drive acceptance and rejection cranial motor behaviors.
Predatory Hunting: To control identified neuron types in brain that selectively adjust locomotion and body posture during attacking on prey.
Neuronal control of bite force: To control identified neuron types in brain that convert firing patterns into mandibular mechanical force.
Optogenetics and closed-loop motor control: Algorithms and interfaces for activation of identified pre-motor neuron types via peripheral feedback.