News & Events

Staff Departures

There have been a number of departures from the project recently.  Darren Walsh has taken up a postdoc position in Edinburgh with Peter Kind. Technician Elaine McDermott has now retired and is looking forward to pursuing her hobbies.  Reza Tamadoni may have left CANDO but he is still at Newcastle and still working with Patrick Degenaar but on a new project. They have all had a huge impact on CANDO and we wish them all the best in the future.

New Paper: A Closed-Loop Optogenetic Platform

The latest paper from the project 'A Closed-Loop Optogenetic Platform' has been published in Frontiers in Neuroscience. The paper details the open-source system developed to provide a platform for closed-loop optogenetic neuromodulation, incorporating custom integrated circuitry for recording and stimulation, real-time closed-loop algorithms running on a microcontroller and experimental control via a PC interface. The paper can be accessed at

Art at Home Activity Packs

We have worked with artists Nick Christie and Melanie Kyles to develop art activities inspired by the project and supported by Newcastle University's Hatton Gallery.  A limited supply of packs containing all materials needed for the activities are available from the Hatton Gallery. Instructional videos for the activities from our artists are available on the project YouTube channel. Written instructions and images for the embroidery activities are also available on the Learn More pages.

Illuminating the Self documentary

A new documentary about the Illuminating the Self exhibition is now available to watch. The film, by North East filmmaker Alan Fentiman, follows artists Susan Aldworth and Andrew Carnie as they research into the CANDO project and develop work for the exhibition at Newcastle University's Hatton Gallery and Vane. Watch the film at

Home Learning about Epilepsy, the Brain and Optogenetics

We have produced a number of home learning documents for students. These include activities and quizzes to help students learn about epilepsy, the brain and optogenetics. There are also learning resources linked to the Deep Mind film for older students to explore ethical and legal issues relating to future neural technologies.  To find out more, visit our Learn More pages.

Deep Mind Film Now Available to Watch

The UK lockdown in March 2020 forced the cancellation of a new play by Operating Theatre, responding to the CANDO project. Thanks to a grant from the Catherine Cookson Foundation, we have been able to turn the play into a film. Deep Mind explores a possible future for brain-machine technology, raising ethical and legal questions. The 30-minute film is available to watch at

Milestone 6 submission

The milestone 6 report for the project was submitted to Wellcome and the EPSRC on time at the end of July 2020. Milestone 6 is the penultimate milestone of the project which the whole team has worked incredibly hard on, especially in minimising the impact of COVID-19 on the project. 

Creative Responses to Illuminating the Self

Students from the Newcastle University MA Creative Writing course have created their own literary work in response to the Illuminating the Self exhibition. You can read two of these works by clicking here.

Illuminating the Self photographs

Photographs of the Illuminating the Self exhibition by local photographer Colin Davison, are available to view on Flickr at the following link:  The photographs include images from the exhibitions at both Hatton Gallery and Vane.

Illuminating the Self - Media Reviews

"It's such an interesting exhibition about a super important and fascinating topic, and to see if spread across two galleries is unlike anything we've really seen - I can't recommend it enough!" Listen to the Hey Art, What's Good? Podcast episode on Illuminating the Self here

"Science and art are successfully combined here. Not only have they brought epilepsy and the CANDO project to a different and wider audience, but they have also found a way to communicate whilst retaining artistic integrity.You can also check out a review of the exhibition in Darkus magazine here.

The Algorhythms of Epilepsy on BBC Radio 4

Artist Susan Aldworth documented the development of her installation Out of the Blue for BBC Radio 4. The programme, part of the Art of Now series, was broadcast on Tuesday 21 January. If you missed it, then you can it is available to listen online at and on the BBC sounds app.

New Engineering Paper from WP1

A new paper from the project has been published in the BioMedical Engineering Online journal. The paper titled 'A current-mode system to self-measure temperature on implantable optoelectronics' details a new system developed to help ensure that warming from implanted LEDs does not exceed the regulatory limit of + 2oC. Access to the paper can be found here.

Royal Society report on Neural Interfaces

The Royal Society have released a report looking at neural interfaces and the role of the UK in developing this technology.  The group that produced the report contained a number of members of the CANDO project.  It was co-chaired by Dr Tim Constandinou, while Professor Andrew Jackson and Dr Andrew Sims were both members of the group. 

The report takes a future-facing look into possible applications of neural and brain-computer interfaces, exploring the potential benefits and risks of the technologies and setting out a course towards maximising the former and minimising the latter. 

The report can be found at

Brain 2.0? A Neural Enhancement Panel Discussion

Dr Patrick Degenaar took part in a panel discussion at Imperial College London on the topic of neural enhancement and its effect on society.   The discussion was live-streamed and a video can be viewed on the Imperial College YouTube channel here.

Image of neurosurgery clamp demonstrated on a jelly brain at public engagement event.

Stand showcasing the CANDO project at an event at Newcastle library.

Volunteer demonstrating an EEG headset

Information stand at public engagement event.

Member of the CANDO project demonstrating laboratory techniques at public engagement event.