Kluver Symposiums

Educational Symposiums
Funded by the Heinrich Kluver Memorial Lectureship Endowment

Inaugural Spencer Block Lecture: The Future of Brain/Machine Interfaces

Friday, June 24, 2016
8:00 a.m.-2:15 p.m.
The Gordon Center for Integrative Science
929 E. 57th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

To Register: 

The event is free for the general public and $40 for anyone seeking CME credit. Cash and checks will be accepted day of. Please contact Cecilia Ehlenbach as space is limited. 

Event Description

This one-day symposium will present the background, history, and current research of brain/computer interfaces. Speakers drawn from across the United States will present state-of-the-art advances in the development of areas like cochlear implants to partially restore hearing in previously deaf patients and devices to restore motor function in amputees or patients with spinal cord damage. Additional lectures will examine preliminary work to enhance cognition. A final presentation will review the ethical considerations in prosthetic research and the future availability of prosthetic devices.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the learner will be able to:

  • Identify the history, progress, problems, and future of brain/machine interfaces;
  • Demonstrate the success of the cochlear implant for restoring hearing, and current improvements under development;
  • Illustrate the ways in which artificial limbs are being developed and controlled through a variety of strategies;
  • Evaluate the relative merits of retinal and cortical visual prostheses and their possible future impact;
  • Discuss how various aspects of cognition might be enhanced through interfaces with computer technology;
  • Analyze the ethical controversies surrounding prosthetic research and how such expensive technology can be equitably provided to individuals who would benefit from them.

Target Audience

This event will be of special interest to physicians, scientists, and bioengineers, and is also appropriate for faculty and students in disciplines such as philosophy, bioethics, neurosurgery and neurology.

Event Directors:

David M. Frim, MD, PhD
The Ralph Cannon Professor of Surgery, Neurology & Pediatrics
Chief, Section of Neurosurgery
The University of Chicago Medicine

V. Leo Towle, PhD
Professor of Neurology, Surgery, and Psychiatry 
Technical Director, Intraoperative Monitoring Service 
Director, Clinical Evoked Potential Laboratory 
The University of Chicago Medicine


Philip R. Troyk, PhD
Associate Dean of Armour College of Engineering 
Professor of Biomedical Engineering 
Professor, Stuart School of Business 
Illinois Institute of Technology

Alik Widge, MD, PhD 
Director, Translational NeuroEngineering Laboratory, Division of Neurotherapeutics 
Massachusetts General Hospital, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry 
Harvard Medical School Clinical Fellow, Picower Institute for Learning & Memory (MIT) 
Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School

Andrew B. Schwartz, PhD 
Distinguished Professor of Neurobiology 
University of Pittsburgh

Fan-Gang Zeng, PhD 
Professor and Director, Center for Hearing Research 
University of California Irvine

Frank J. Lane, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychology 
Associate Chair of the Department of Psychology 
Illinois Institute of Technology


For more information, please contact Cecilia Ehlenbach.