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SMoRG Lab:
People - Principal Investigator - Dr. Helms Tillery
Name
Dr. Stephen Helms Tillery
Titles
Associate Professor of Bioengineering
Fellow of the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics
Affiliation
Education
(1994) Ph.D Neuroscience, University of Minnesota

Curriculum Vitae
Contact

(office) ISTB1-181F
(phone) 480.965.0753
(fax) 480.727.7624
(e-mail) Stephen.HelmsTillery@asu.edu
Biography

Steve Helms Tillery came to ASU to work on cortical neuroprosthetics in 2000. Together with ASU Bioengineering graduate student Dawn Taylor and Andy Schwartz (now at The University of Pittsburgh), they created a system in which to train primates to control external devices using only brain signals. This work is steeped both in the science of cortical control and in bioengineering. Professor Helms Tillery endeavors both to understand the intricacies of neural control of real arm movement, and to address crucial bioengineering issues in the design of neuro-electronic hybrid systems.   

In 2006, Helms Tillery started his own lab at ASU, the SensoriMotor Research Group. The main thrust of this group remains cortical interfaces for neuroprosthetics. In particular, the group is focused on two aspects of these systems: 1) what are the abilities and limitations that come about due to neural plasticity and adaptation, and 2) how could tactile information be input back into the central nervous system. To these ends, the group uses a combination of human behavioral studies, neurophysiological recordings in humans and primates, and computer simulation. The overall goals of the research are twofold: to improve our knowledge of the brain, and to determine the best ways to use that knowledge to build computer-brain interfaces.

Research

Dr. Helms Tillery is also interested in the basal ganglia, a set of forebrain nuclei which are associated with motor disorders like Parkinson's Disease and Huntington's chorea. He is using the systems and techniques developed for neuroprosthetics to study the basic physiology and pathophysiology of these structures.