About

Scientist  ·  Engineer

James Wu

I am a neuroscience and neural engineering researcher at the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering and University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, USA.

I also do systems engineering and product development at White Matter, LLC in Seattle, building synchronized, scalable, high-bandwidth electrophysiological and behavioral recording instruments for neuroscience research.

You can reach me through Twitter, or email: contact at analogist dot net.

Work  ·  Teaching

I am working on my PhD in neuroengineering. In my research, I try to figure out the principles behind how we are able to effortlessly transform intent into complex movements, with the hope of one day being able to create neural implants that interface with our bodies.

I also develop custom electronics and embedded systems to facilitate low-cost, large-scale neuroscience.

Grasp neural dynamics

More importantly, I try to understand systems and infrastructure. Technological infrastructure, in particular, is getting increasingly complex by the day; we have no choice but to externalize and take all the layers we are not working on for granted. If you’re using a smartphone, you temporarily ignore the code underneath. When you are coding software, you are still removed from the hardware microarchitecture, let alone the circuit board designers, the supply chains, the silicon foundaries, the coltan miners, and the immense global distribution, transportation, toolmaking, food security, water security, and public works delicately supporting it all. All of which then, in turn, rely on smartphones.

There are underlying patterns to the way we behave within ourselves, with each other, and with the world. These patterns are driven by underlying factors - incentives, rewards, goals, shortcuts, guesses, models, and abstractions. These layers and layers of complex elements appear again and again in circuits and in nervous systems, in computing and in animals, in families and in society.

Pacific Science Center

I have 20+ peer-reviewed articles in movement neuroscience, brain-computer interfaces, brain state prediction, functional neuroimaging, and optoelectronics. Some recent work include:

Electrocorticographic Dynamics Predict Visually Guided Motor Imagery of Grasp Shaping

Task-Specific Somatosensory Feedback via Cortical Stimulation in Humans

Multistep model for predicting upper-limb 3D isometric force application from pre-movement electrocorticographic features

I think visualization of concepts are particularly important. Some recent work include:

Interactive web application for exploring matrices of neural connectivity ( Affinity )

I am passionate about teaching and public outreach. I am a volunteer scientist at the Seattle Pacific Science Center and a lifelong tutor. Some recent work include:

Smithsonian Magazine: Melding Mind and Machine: How Close Are We?

Education-Arm: Inverse kinematics closed-loop robotics arm

Education-Timer: Audio/Visual reaction timer