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John Rolston

Current Status: Alumni

Graduate Department: Neuroscience

Advisor(s): Robert Gross, MD, PhD;


Our lab investigates ways to listen to the brain, and to talk back. We have created a bidirectional interface, able to record electrical activity of brain cells, but also able to electrically stimulate these cells to control them. This custom system was built with open-source software and hardware designs. Users can assemble such a system for under $10,000, compared to commercially available systems that cost more than $100,000 and cannot stimulate. We are currently using this system to investigate epilepsy. Using high-resolution recording, we?ve identified high-frequency oscillations that are pathologic only in epilepsy. We?ve also used the stimulation side of our system to control these oscillations. Such control might lead experimental therapies for epilepsy, along with a better understanding of how seizures start and stop, something that is currently unknown, despite the fact that around 1 in every 100 people has this devastating disease.

Graduation Year: 2011

Residency: Neurological Surgery, UC San Francisco

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