The Brain Electrophysiology Laboratory (BEL) was founded in the 1980s in the basement of the Psychology Department's Straub Hall on the University of Oregon campus. In the 1990s the BEL was moved to EGI in the Riverfront Research Park where it served as EGI's "proving grounds" for basic research, advanced training, and new technologies. With the Philips acquisition of EGI in 2017, the BEL Company was formed to continue basic research in human brain function, training of UO students, and exploration of new technologies through Small Business Innovation Research SBIR projects.
The BEL mission is to advance the science of human neural systems through modeling and analysis with artificial neural systems. The eventual goal is an effective brain machine interface to allow the fusion of human and artificial intelligence.
In the NADA project (NADAweb.net), this fusion of human and artificial neural systems has the goal of creating Personal Entropy Escape Vehicles (PEEVs), allowing individual minds to continue in digital form after their biological forms no longer function adequately.
A specific BEL science goal is the analysis of human memory representation and consolidation within distributed corticolimbic networks. The consolidation of memory during sleep involves neural mechanisms that may be highly informative for understanding the physical implementation of mental processes in neural systems.
A near term practical goal — as a demonstration project for NADA — is to bring the science of sleep and memory to improving human mental function.
The Neurosom® project is developing the technology for assessing the quality of sleep neurophysiology with machine learning algorithms in order to improve the depth and quality sleep with noninvasive transcranial electrical stimulation (TES) of the brain.
The first phase of the Neurosom project will introduce the Sleep WISP (Wireless Interface Sensor Pod), a lightweight headband for home sleep electroencephalography (EEG) that is linked to a cloud infrastructure for ongoing Artificial Ingelligence (AI) analysis of the sleep process. This phase will include mobile apps for memory assessment and evaluation, to track the relation of sleep quality to personal cognitive and behavioral competence.
The second phase of the Neurosom project will implement TES with the Sleep WISP to synchronize the slow waves of the brain’s deep sleep, and therefore improve the consolidation of experience within long term memory. The progress with AI analysis of sleep neurophysiology and daytime memory assessment in phase one will prepare for the evaluation of efficacy of sleep improvement in phase two.
The goal of the Neurosom project is optimizing sleep and memory for the healthy brain. However, because both sleep and memory decline with normal aging, we are focusing on applications of sleep therapy to normal aging, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Interested people are invited to participate in a sleep study to increase our understanding of the different stages of sleep and how good sleep contributes to better memory.