Neurons that can multitask greatly enhance the brain’s computational power, study finds.
Professors Neville Hogan and Derek Rowell of the Department of Mechanical Engineering have been appointed director and co-director of the Eric P. and Evelyn E. Newman Laboratory for Biomechanics and Human Rehabilitation. They succeed Professor Robert Mann, who had headed the lab since its inception in 1975. In addition Dr. Michael J. Rosen, also of mechanical engineering, has been appointed director of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center within the Newman Laboratory.
The appointments were made by Professor Nam P. Suh, head of the department.
The Newman Laboratory is one of the largest labs in mechanical engineering. Its mission is to educate mechanical engineering students through leading-edge research to understand and augment human performance. The research conducted there concentrates on fundamental studies of the biomechanical and neural bases of human sensory and motor behavior that are applied to design technology to rehabilitate humans with sensorimotor deficit.
Professor Hogan received his advanced degrees in mechanical engineering and joined the faculty in 1979. He holds a joint appointment in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. His research interests are in robotics and neural control of movement, focused on impedance control for contact tasks and tool use. Applications include telerobotics, haptic virtual environments, and human performance enhancement technologies.
Professor Rowell joined the faculty in 1976. He received his advanced degrees from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, in electrical engineering. His research areas encompass the development of assistive systems for the handicapped, including the blind, stutterers, and the non-vocal; biomechanics, medical imaging, and image processing; biomechanics, instrumentation and hardware/software system design.
Dr. Rosen, a principal research scientist and lecturer, has been with the department since 1975. His research interests center on human motor dysfunction, computer-based systems for assessment and clinical decisions, assistive technology for disabled people, and concurrent engineering.
A version of this article appeared in the September 30, 1992 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 37, Number 8).