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San Francisco, California, January 7, 2011 - A portrait of Dr. Edward Chang, University of California San Francisco Medical Center Neurologist and Co-Director for the Center for Neural Engineering at UC Berkeley and San Francisco, in the OR at UCSF Medical Center. Dr. Chang's clinical expertise is surgical therapies for intractable epilepsy, movement disorders, and adult brain tumors. He specializes in advanced brain mapping methods, including awake speech and motor mapping, to safely perform neurosurgical procedures in eloquent areas of the brain. Dr. Chang is also working on experimental studies in speech prosthetics--creating computer hardware and software that can translate brain waves into speech. Such a "communications prosthetic," as he calls it, would benefit those whose minds function but who cannot talk, as happens with locked-in syndrome (cf. "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly") or late-stage ALS, for example. Most brain mapping is done by inserting fine needles--microelectrodes--into the brain, but that can cause scarring of brain tissue, among other disadvantages. Instead, Chang piggybacks on "awake" open-skull surgeries that have been scheduled to help treat seizure disorders. While the skull is open, he places mapping sensors on the surface of the brain, beneath the skull. The reason this kind of surgery is a good mapping opportunity for Chang is that because locations in the brain that are important to speech often are close to areas responsible for seizures. The patient is awake because when the surgeon removes portions of brain tissue, he doesn't want to destroy the patient's ability to speak, and a conscious patient can give the surgeon ongoing feedback by responding to questions..