Open Wetlab

Do It Together Bio #8: Neuro Cyborg

4-4-14 19:00 - 4-4-14 22:00
Waag, Nieuwmarkt 4, Amsterdam

How does our brain work? Has neurology turned into a design discipline? We invite designers, artists, (neuro)scientists and hackers to join us in exploring the current state of the art in do-it-yourself neurology. Some easy hacks you can make yourself, for example simple arduino electronics that help you take control over someone else’s arm.

Everyone is a neuroscientist
This evening program will start with a short introduction on brain imaging by Martijn Steenwijk (PhD candidate at VU University Medical Center). Next, you will engage in a hands-on workshop and explore neuroscience with the Do-It-Yourself kits of BackyardBrains. You will build your own equipment and tinker with interactions between nerve physiology and electronics; listen to how real neuron “spikes” with a neuron amplifier. Measure and experiment with axon signal speed as a true neuroscientist.

As the evening progresses we move towards cyborg technologies. The DIY EMG setup will connect the nerves of one participant with the muscles of another. Finally, we explore how transhumanists use neuro technology to blur the lines between biology and machines. In the experimental part we will build our own cyborgs, with remote controlled cockroaches as a model.

Scientists are slowly unraveling the mysterious composition and mechanisms of the human brain. Technology that enables us to interact digitally with grey matter will inevitably follow up on these discoveries. What are the limitations of today’s neuro science and what dogmas are pushed beyond their breaking point? 

Please feel welcome if you’re interested in do-it-yourself experiments with easily accessible tools. There’s no need for prior knowledge. The only thing you need is a curious and open mind.

Door opens 19.30 hrs
Participation is € 5,- per person.

This project is made possible by the Fund Creative Industries.