Plasticity

Patrick Deegan pdeegan at hmc.edu
Tue Feb 13 12:02:03 EST 1996


During open discussions in my Cognitive Psychology class I noticed that
most psychological examination occurred in subjects with related
deficiencies due to abnormal brain development or trama.  The research had
mostly concluded that the remarkable ablility of those subjects to
compensate for the deficiences was due to their mind's plasticity.  It was
my observation that this research was incomplete because it had no
provision to make comparisons to the reaction of the brain to completely
new stimuli.  In class I proposed an experiment that would electrically
stimulate reorganization of the sensory cortex in order to gain
information on how the mind would react to artificial stimulus.  My
reasoning led to the hypothesis that the mind may be able to process the
artificial stimulus in a productive manner.  That is, I wish to know
whether or not injuries such as spinal damage may be rehabilitated by the
rejoining or rerouting of the body's sensory output. My interest also
manifested out of the seemingly distant interface between man/machine and
i would like to continue to do research to integrate man/machine and model
human cognition through artificial simulation and stimulus.  I would
appreciate information regarding expansion of this subject and
summer research positions in robotics, cognitive science, neurobiology 
or artificial intelligence that I may pursue. 


I am an junior mechanical engineer at Harvey Mudd College, Claremont CA
USA.  I will attend graduate school to study robotics and the
human/machine interface. My general interests are in the application of
human neuroscience to the automation of highly complex mechanical systems. 
I am currently part of a project developing an autonomous walking machine
for competition in Montreal, Canada. I would like to continue reseach in
these interests over my summer break. 



Thanks,
patrick deegan
pdeegan at hmc.edu







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