Ed Boyden is Associate Professor of Biological Engineering and Brain and Cognitive Sciences, at the MIT Media Lab and the MIT McGovern Institute. He leads the Synthetic Neurobiology Group, which develops tools for analyzing and engineering the circuits of the brain. These technologies, created often in interdisciplinary collaborations, include 'optogenetic' tools, which enable the activation and silencing of neural circuit elements with light, 3-D microfabricated neural interfaces that enable control and readout of neural activity, and robotic methods for automatically recording intracellular neural activity and performing single-cell analyses in the living brain.
Moran Cerf is a neuroscientist studying how conscious percepts are formed in our brains. He records the activity of individual nerve cells directly from the brains of patients undergoing neurosurgery. These patients are implanted with electrodes deep inside their brains for clinical purposes. Following the implantation, Cerf is able to use the implanted electrodes to study the ways by which thoughts and memories are registered.