Date of Completion

Spring 5-6-2012

Thesis Advisor(s)

John Enderle

Honors Major

Biomedical Engineering


Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering


The proposed device is an electronic circuit that mimics the neural network controlling fast eye movements, or saccades. The device simulates the signals produced by each neuronal population during the control of a horizontal saccade and allows for observing and recording. It will serve as a valuable teaching tool in the field of neural control. Furthermore, the device will have applications in the realm of diagnosing and properly treating brain injury. Finally, this device could be incorporated into a system for controlling the eye movements of a realistic, artificially intelligent robot.

The FitzHugh-Nagumo model of the action potential is used as a foundation to mimic the signals produced by the neurons in question. This is a proven framework, and provides a simple empirical model that can be customized according to the properties of a given neuron. Each neuron will be printed on a circuit board that can be bypassed to simulate a lesion. A current pulse will serve as an input, but in the future, this may be replaced with feedback from a robot. This product is unique in that an analog circuit model of this neural network has not been built before.