DARPA and the Brain Initiative

The White House announced the BRAIN initiative in April 2013. Today, the initiative is supported by several federal agencies as well as dozens of technology firms, academic institutions, scientists and other key contributors to the field of neuroscience. DARPA is supporting the BRAIN initiative through a number of programs, continuing a legacy of DARPA investment in neurotechnology that extends back to the 1970s. An article in our 60th anniversary magazine provides an overview of the agency’s recent research aimed at expanding the frontiers of the field and enabling powerful, new capabilities.

Electrical Prescriptions (ElectRx)

The ElectRx program aims to help the human body heal itself through neuromodulation of organ functions using ultraminiaturized devices, approximately the size of individual nerve fibers, which could be delivered through minimally invasive injection.

Work Begins to Support Self-Healing of Body and Mind

ElectRx Has the Nerve to Envision Revolutionary Therapies for Self-Healing

President Obama Highlights New DARPA Program Aimed at Developing Novel Therapies Customized to Individual Patients

Hand Proprioception and Touch Interfaces (HAPTIX)

The HAPTIX program aims to create fully implantable, modular and reconfigurable neural-interface microsystems that communicate wirelessly with external modules, such as a prosthesis interface link, to deliver naturalistic sensations to amputees.

Neuroscience of Touch Supports Improved Robotic and Prosthetic Interfaces

HAPTIX Starts Work to Provide Prosthetic Hands with Sense of Touch

By Restoring Sense of Touch to Amputees, HAPTIX Seeks to Overcome Physical and Psychological Effects of Upper Limb Loss

Neural Engineering System Design (NESD)

The NESD program aims to develop an implantable neural interface able to provide unprecedented signal resolution and data-transfer bandwidth between the brain and the digital world.

Towards a High-Resolution, Implantable Neural Interface

Bridging the Bio-Electronic Divide

Neuro Function, Activity, Structure and Technology (Neuro-FAST)

The Neuro-FAST program seeks to enable unprecedented visualization and decoding of brain activity to better characterize and mitigate threats to the human brain, as well as facilitate development of brain-in-the loop systems to accelerate and improve functional behaviors. The program has developed CLARITY, a revolutionary tissue-preservation method, and builds off recent discoveries in genetics, optical recordings and brain-computer interfaces.

Researchers Identify Conductor of Brain’s Neural Orchestra & Begin to Decode the Score

Advanced CLARITY Method Offers Faster, Better Views of Entire Brain

Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3)

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