Is Reality Catching Up with Iron Man? Evolution in Brain–Machine Interface

Free Public Lecture

Is Reality Catching Up with Iron Man? Evolution in Brain–Machine Interface

Auditorium, Melbourne Brain Centre
Kenneth Myer Building
Royal Parade, Parkville


More information

Once deemed the stuff of science fiction, implantable devices such as the cochlear implant and pacemakers are now mainstream in today’s medical practice. Such devices have already had a huge impact on health. So, what will the next generation of intelligent implantable technology look like? How will they pioneer the future of personalised therapeutics?

Intelligent implants are being used to help diagnose and predict a range of conditions. Researchers are developing bionic eye devices to restore a sense of vision to people with retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration. A University of Melbourne team has developed Stentrode™, a device that is implanted into a blood vessel next to the brain area that controls movement. In time, this may be used to control an exoskeleton to enable paralysed people to move again.

These are just some of the ways implantable electronic medical devices are revolutionising the brain-machine interface. Join us for an evening with the experts as we explore the future of implantables and the broader social and ethical implications of this technology.


  • Associate Professor Kate Drummond
  • Associate Professor Megan Munsie
    Associate Professor Megan Munsie, Head of the Education, Ethics, Law & Community Awareness Unit
  • Dr Nicholas Opie
    Dr Nicholas Opie, Vascular Bionics Laboratory.
  • Professor Mark Cook
    Professor Mark Cook, Sir John Eccles Chair of Medicine
  • Professor Penelope Allen
    Professor Penelope Allen, Centre for Eye Research Australia and Bionic Vision Australia