What is NeurotechUofT? What do you do?

NeurotechUofT is the first undergraduate student club at the University of Toronto devoted to driving undergraduate neurotechnology innovation. We work on neurotech research and development projects suggested and lead by the members of our club. To do this, we provide both the tech to complete these projects and workshops to help you become the ultimate neurotech ninja and contribute to neurotech projects!

What is neurotechnology?

In the field of neurotech, we look into how the brain works, and how technology can work with in conjunction with the brain. It often uses brain-computer interfaces to have minds and machines work together.

What is a brain computer interface (BCI)? How do they work?

A BCI is a system that lets your brain communicate and work with a computer! The difference is that the BCI tries to 'read your mind', instead of you telling it what your emotions or thoughts are. There are three steps. Step one is to obtain and 'clean' your brain signals (and other biosignals, such as eye movement, heart rate, etc). Next, the BCI interprets the information, and finally does some sort of action according to your brain state. The main difference is that whatever action the BCI does FEEDS BACK to the brain! This can be through any sensory feelings like sight and touch, or even directly affecting brain function! Applications of BCIs range from mind-controlling prosthetics to chips embedded inside your brain to detect and stop seizures.

What type of projects do you work on?

Our first project is making a mind-controlled bot! (It isn't quite as hard as you might imagine it to be; we're mostly using other people's code :P). We're also participating in a Canada-wide neurotechnology competition in Montreal where we have to a) make a biosignals board and b) make our own neurotech application! We also have a bunch of neurological and cognitive science studies being planned out for the future, so stay tuned!

I'm in first year and I don't know much about neuroscience and/or computer science. Can I still join, and what would I be doing?

Of course you can join! That being said, you will be expected to do quite a bit of self-learning (and this isn't just limited to first years). If you have a bit of experience coding, or are teaching yourself how to code, you can contribute to our source code for projects such as our mind-controlled bot. If you have a background in the sciences, you'll be able to help us find key literature and methods to guide our projects. Whatever your background is, it is very helpful to familiarize yourself with the other aspects of neurotechnology so that you understand how everything works together. To help you with this, we host many workshops to help you learn the various concepts in neurotechnology!