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SURF: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty and JPL technical staff for the SURF program. Additional AOs for the Amgen Scholars program can be found here.

Specific GROWTH projects being offerred for summer 2017 can be found here.

Students pursuing opportunities at JPL must be U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

Each AO indicates whether or not it is open to non-Caltech students. If an AO is NOT open to non-Caltech students, please DO NOT contact the mentor.

Announcements of Opportunity are posted as they are received. Please check back regularly for new AO submissions! Remember: This is just one way that you can go about identifying a suitable project and/or mentor.

Announcements for external summer programs are listed here.

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Project:  Neuromodulation Using Brain Wave Entrainment
Disciplines:  Computation and Neural Systems, Computer Science
Mentor:  Shinsuke Shimojo, Professor, (BBE), sshimojo@caltech.edu
Mentor URL:  http://neuro.caltech.edu  (opens in new window)
AO Contact:  Kyongsik Yun, yunks@caltech.edu
Background:  Brain wave entrainment is a method to modulate neuronal oscillatory activity using external sensory signals, including auditory, visual, and electromagnetic stimulations. The method is based on the phenomenon that neural oscillations can adjust to synchronize with the periodic vibration of an external stimulus.

A binaural beat is a technique to generate an inaudible frequency sound (1-20Hz) to modulate brain waves. An auditory illusion is perceived when two different pure-tone sine waves (both with audible frequencies lower than 1500Hz) are presented to a listener dichotically (one through each ear). For example, if a 400Hz pure tone is presented to a subject’s right ear, while a 404Hz pure tone is presented to the subject’s left ear, the listener’s brain will perceive the auditory illusion of a third tone (4Hz), that being the difference between the pure tones presented to each ear. The listener cannot hear the 4Hz tone but still her/his brain tends to synchronize into the frequency unconsciously.

Human subjects rarely hear frequencies below 20Hz, whereas 1-20Hz frequency is the main brain wave range governing various cognitive processes. A binaural beat is a non-invasive, auditory method to tap into the modulation of brain waves that are inaudible in nature.
Description:  The project is to modulate intrinsic neural oscillations using binaural beats in human subjects. Behavioral experiments include testing of cognitive/memory function, sleep efficiency, and motor performance. The student will work on the design of the experiments, testing of subjects, and analysis of data. Exploration to other neuromodulation technologies is not limited but encouraged.
Student Requirements:  Good programming (matlab or python) and math (statistics, modeling) skills required
iOS/Android programming skills preferred
Background in behavioral/cognitive neuroscience and EEG preferred
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       Amgen Scholars    Non-Caltech students only  
       SURF    both Caltech and non-Caltech students 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.


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