Steinmetz Laboratory

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Steinmetz Laboratory


Peter N. Steinmetz, MD, PhD
Director, Neuroengineering Program
Principal Investigator, Neuroengineering/Human Neurophysiology Laboratory
Barrow Neurological Institute


Laboratory Focus

The goal of the Steinmetz Neuroengineering and Human Neurophysiology Laboratory is to develop quantitative biophysical descriptions of brain structure and function and to use those descriptions:

  1. to understand the integrative operation of the central nervous system, and
  2. to manipulate the brain through electrical stimulation and recording.

The last decade of the 20th century, dubbed the Decade of the Brain, dramatically expanded our knowledge of the nervous system at all levels. However, major questions remain. One that we are particularly interested in is: how the levels fit together so that the brain produces such varied and interesting behavior?

Our research approach is grounded in the belief that understanding biophysical details at the level of roughly 1 mm3 of the cortex (a few cortical columns containing about 10,000 neurons) is crucial to understanding the functional operation of the cortex. This regime lies above single cells but below the resolution limits of existing imaging modalities such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). However, this regime is influenced by stimulating electrodes, and with continuing advances in computational power, it is becoming approachable with biophysical modeling.

Our laboratory has three main research foci:

  • single neuron representation of memory in the human brain
  • single neuron representation of emotion in the human brain
  • deep brain stimulation and electrodes

Laboratory Programs


Contact Information

Peter N. Steinmetz, MD, PhD
Director, Neuroengineering Program
Barrow Neurological Institute
Phone: (602) 406-3258

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