Electronic Medical Research
There are many different areas of life that electronic design can be implemented to try to improve, create or explore. This can be anything from designing a new product to make an everyday task easier, reducing the size of components to make devices smaller or faster or using electronics to explore medical research and the human body.
Durham University is currently utilising electronics to try and explore how autism may develop with the friendly help of 5 month old baby, Ricky Kimber and other young volunteers. The study is aimed at looking how babies learn from a young age and involves Ricky wearing a cap which has many wires coming out of it that are connected to a computer. The baby is with their parents the whole time in the baby friendly lab area and is tasked with using their water reflex to go from one end of a small bath to the other.
Some of the babies will be tasked with trying to travel the water by themselves whilst others will watch videos of people walking whilst having their brain monitored via the cap. This will help to measure how a babies’ brain reacts to seeing someone walking and whether they can replicate it and hopefully go some way to understanding how some babies learn.
This is a clever way in which electronics is being used to monitor the human brain and the research could have great benefits in understanding autism and how it develops.