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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, WMU

Neural Systems

Dr. Damon A. Miller

Neurobiology Engineering Laboratory

Co-founded by Dr. Miller and Dr. Severance, the Neurobiology Engineering Laboratory explores:

  • Neural Stimulation
  • Neuron Models
  • Electrohysiology Hardware and Software
  • Multi-Electrode Arrays
  • Biological Signal Processing
The laboratory is located in room A-211 in the WMU College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. For details, please consult this information sheet.

Artificial Neural Systems

The field of artificial neural systems attempts to utilize computational principles of information processing as found in biological organisms to create more effective engineering systems. Dr. Miller's work in this area has focused on methods to select the size of a neural network for a given learning problem.

Example Projects

Lucas Essenburg, Intracellular Electrometer, Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, committee: D. A. Miller*, S. Durbin, J. Jellies, 2019, available here. Supported by NASA MSGC. image image

Electrometer block diagram courtesy L. Essenburg

L. Essenburg, R. Saltzman, and J. White, Real-Time Neuron Membrane Voltage Controller, sponsor: WMU Neurobiology Engineering Laboratory with support from the John Jellies Laboratory and T. Groves, Fall 2017-Spring 2018. Encapsulates many components of a standard electrophysiology rig in a handheld device. Enables generation of current stimuli (red trace) and measurement of neuron response (blue trace) via an electrometer. Still working on the 'real time control' part... Supported by the NASA MSGC. image image

Above two images courtesy L. Essenburg et. al

Sr. John-Mary Vianney, D. Miller, and J. Spitsbergen. Experimental apparatus to study the effect of electrical stimulation on production of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor in cultured cells. Ben VanDyken constructed the "homemade" portions of this system. Results published in Brain Research. image

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Above two images courtesy Sr. John-Mary Vianney.
D. Miller, J. Jellies, M. Ellinger, M. Koelling, and C. Linn, Development of an Electrophysiology Rig to Study Optimal Control of Biological Neuron Membrane Voltage. Supported by a 2013-2014 Western Michigan University College of Arts and Sciences Interdisciplinary Research Initiative Award.

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Preliminary data from a medicinal leech Hirudo medicinalis P1 neuron captured by the electrophysiology rig. Stimulation currents (top) and neuron membrane voltage responses (bottom). Details were presented in a poster (by D. Miller, J. Jellies, M. Ellinger, M. Koelling, and C. Linn) the 2014 Michigan Chapter for Neuroscience Meeting held at WMU. image image
Leveraging a long line of previous projects in the lab, Kyle Batzer and Donovan Squires developed an Integrated Electrophysiology Data Acquisition and Stimulation System enabling stimulation and measurement of preparations via an array of electrodes using a scripting language as their master thesis projects. Supported by the NASA MSGC. image Image courtesy D. Squires. 2013 D. Squires. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
image Image courtesy K. Batzer and D. Squires. 2013 K. Batzer and D. Squires. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Michael Ellinger, Acquisition and Analysis of Biological Neural Network Action Potential Sequences, Master of Science in Electrical Engineering thesis, June 2009. Supported by the WMU Graduate Research Student Fund and the NASA MSGC. image>
The waveform was captured by Michael Ellinger from a multichannel systems microelectrode array using ADInstruments hardware and software. It is likely that these spikes correspond to rat cortical neuron action potentials, representing a major milestone in the development of the Neurobiology Engineering Laboratory. image
John Stahl, Dual Channel Low Noise Amplifier for Experiments in Neurophysiology, Master of Science in Electrical Engineering thesis, June 2009. Supported by the NASA MSGC. image
Circuit for cellular neural network experiments as described in D. A. Miller, Michael Dozeman, Grant Westphal, and I. Abdel-Qader, "A hybrid analog/digital circuit for experiments in controlling chaos," in Proc. of the 45th IEEE Midwest Symposium on Circuits and Systems, vol. 1, (Tulsa, Oklahoma), pp. 188-191, August 4-7, 2002. Supported by WMU FRACASF. image
Josh Barr, D. A. Miller, and Louise Barr, "A hybrid analog/digital chaotic associative memory," in Proc. of the 43rd IEEE Midwest Symposium on Circuits and Systems, vol. 3, (Lansing, MI), pp. 1018-1021, August 8-11, 2000. Invited paper. Co-author L. Barr not listed in paper as published. Supported by the NASA MSGC and WMU FRACASF. image