As scientists try to create robotic limb replacements for amputees they are gaining new respect for the complex biomechanics responsible that allow the human arm and hand to move as they do. What makes an arm and hand uniquely human? Why does the two-pronged, body-powered hook patented 100 years ago consistently outperform the most advanced computerized prosthetic we have? If you think human prosthetics is too hard a problem for young "hand hackers," come hear Frank Wilson, widely respected authority on the neurology of acquired hand disorders and founder and medical director of the Health Program for Performing Artists at the University of California San Francisco.
Frank Wilson is a neurologist/writer who resides in Portland, Oregon. Now retired from active clinical practice, he was a founder of the Health Program for Performing Artists at the University of California San Francisco, and its medical director from 1996-2000. He was Visiting Professor of Neurology at the University of Dusseldorf in 1989-1990, Associate Clinical Professor of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco until 2000, and Clinical Professor of Neurology at Stanford University Medical Center until 2004.
He has long been interested in the neurology of skilled hand movement, and is a widely respected authority on the neurology of acquired hand disorders. He is the author of two monographs on the hand: Tone Deaf and All Thumbs: an invitation to music-making for late bloomers and non-prodigies (Viking-Penguin, 1986) and The Hand: how its use shapes the brain, language, and human culture (Pantheon Books, 1998).
He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Big Picture Learning, a nonprofit corporation that has established and administers over 80 alternative inner city urban high schools in the United States and several other countries. He is an avid motorcyclist.