Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Decoding monkey movements

28.06.2010
High-performance neuroprosthetic devices may result from a new technique for recording neuronal activity

Producing accurate and stable, long-term readings of neuronal activity using a brain–machine interface (BMI) is now possible thanks to work by Naotaka Fujii and his colleagues at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Wako1. Their results could help researchers to develop durable and versatile neural prostheses for rehabilitation patients.

BMIs read neural activity associated with planning and executing movements and decode it into commands that are relayed to an external device such as a computer cursor or robotic arm. This normally involves recording simultaneously from multiple, single neurons, so the recordings are unstable and the decoding model needs re-calibration on a daily basis.

Fujii and colleagues used an alternative technique called electrocorticography, in which an array of electrodes is used to record the population activity of cortical neurons.

Electrocorticography is often used to evaluate epileptic patients before neurosurgery but is not normally used for longer than two weeks. It was thought to provide a low fidelity signal for BMIs, because the electrodes record neural activity from the cortical surface, rather than within the cortex.

To overcome this, the researchers designed an electrode array for long-term recording, and developed a novel decoding algorithm that samples neural activity from multiple brain regions.

After implanting the electrodes into the brains of monkeys, so that they spanned multiple brain regions, Fujii and colleagues trained the animals to spontaneously reach out and grasp food presented to them. The monkeys wore custom-made jackets fitted with reflective markers at the shoulders, elbows and wrists. The researchers then recorded the monkeys’ arm movements using a motion capture system, and correlated them with the neuronal activity recorded by the electrodes.

By decoding the signals, they could predict the trajectory and orientation of the monkeys’ arms in three dimensions. The accuracy of the decoding was comparable to that of existing BMIs which record activity from single cells. Furthermore, the recordings were highly stable, and could be decoded for several months without recalibration.

The new recording technique should prove to be useful for researchers investigating movement control and higher cognitive functions. It could also lead to versatile devices that can be implanted for long periods of time, to aid patients with brain damage, spinal cord injury, and neurodegenerative conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, notes Fujii.

“Our electrode array is still not ready for long-term use in patients, because of the risk of infection,” says Fujii, “but we are now developing a fully implantable wireless device to prevent this.”

The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the Laboratory for Adaptive Intelligence, RIKEN Brain Science Institute

Journal information

1. Chao, Z.C., Nagasaka, Y. & Fujii, N. Long-term asynchronous decoding of arm motion using electrocorticographic signals in monkeys. Frontiers in Neuroengineering 3, 3–13 (2010)

gro-pr | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.rikenresearch.riken.jp/eng/research/6315
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Scientists spin artificial silk from whey protein
24.01.2017 | Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY

nachricht Choreographing the microRNA-target dance
24.01.2017 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists spin artificial silk from whey protein

X-ray study throws light on key process for production

A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Breaking the optical bandwidth record of stable pulsed lasers

24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Choreographing the microRNA-target dance

24.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Spanish scientists create a 3-D bioprinter to print human skin

24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>