Virtual Neurophysiology Workbench

The DIY Brain Lab! Developed to improve the accessibility of neuroscience education.

The Virtual Neurophysiology Workbench was developed at the University of Utah's Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute to improve the accessibility of neuroscience education. Typically, understanding of neurophysiology is developed through in vivo and in vitro experiments, as well as neurological procedures. These methods require extensive training and expensive, specialized equipment.

This website was developed to promote general and critical knowledge in neuroscience at earlier education levels. Further, this website was also developed to promote interaction and collaboration between young scientists., who are encouraged to submit questions and new experiments that may help others. Go to the Forums and Experiments pages respectively to submit questions and share your own scientific ideas.

Initially funded by a University of Utah teaching grant, Christopher Butson, PhD, developed hands-on experiments utilizing easily accessible equipment to assist undergraduate and graduate level engineering students in comprehending some of the relationships between intracellular neural signals and extracellular recordings – brain circuitry.interactive experiments to give undergraduate and graduate level engineering students experience in the interpretation of neural signals and the ways in which we are able to study the brain.

Expanding upon this concept, Dr. Butson and one of his graduate students, Shana Black, have worked on further developing these hands-on labs and presenting them to the public, allowing access to these types of experiments for all who may be interested.

 

About Dr. Christopher Butson, PhD:

butsonDr. Butson received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland, M.S. in Electrical Engineering from George Washington University and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Utah. He completed post-doctoral training at the Cleveland Clinic and worked for the six years at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He currently leads a research laboratory in the Scientific Computing & Imaging Institute and the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Utah. He also serves as the Director of Neuromodulation Research for the departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery at the University of Utah. In this role one of his major goals is to use mobile computing tools to improve the clinical application of neuromodulation therapies such as deep brain stimulation (DBS). The research focus of his lab is neuromodulation, specifically therapeutic and diagnostic brain stimulation. He holds 10 patents in this area, some of which were licensed to Intelect Medical, a spinoff company that was sold to Boston Scientific in 2011. He is the CEO of a consulting company that specializes in neurostimulation devices and neuromodulation therapy. He is an active member of the Society for Neuroscience (SFN), the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society (EMBS).

 

About Shana Black

shana black 2Shana received a B.S. degree in Psychology and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Utah. She is a graduate research assistant in Dr. Butson's laboratory in the Scientific Computing & Imaging Institute and the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Utah. The focus of her research in this lab is in therapeutic neuromodulation therapies for patients with neuropathic pain following spinal cord injury. Shana has a passion for education and plans to continue her post-doctoral and professional work in the academic field.

Contact

For answers to questions regarding experiments and other information presented as part of the Virtual Neurophysiology Workbench, we encourage you to go to the Q&A forums and take part in discussions with your peers.  There are separate forums for general questions and for troubleshooting various issues.

For all other inquiries please email Christopher Butson, PhD at butson@sci.utah.edu or Shana Black at shana.black@sci.utah.edu 

Thank you for your interest!