Prediction and control of neural responses to pulsatile electrical stimulation

Department of Otolaryngology, University of Melbourne, 32 Gisborne Street, East Melbourne, 3002, Australia.
Journal of Neural Engineering (Impact Factor: 3.3). 03/2012; 9(2):026023. DOI: 10.1088/1741-2560/9/2/026023
Source: PubMed


This paper aims to predict and control the probability of firing of a neuron in response to pulsatile electrical stimulation of the type delivered by neural prostheses such as the cochlear implant, bionic eye or in deep brain stimulation. Using the cochlear implant as a model, we developed an efficient computational model that predicts the responses of auditory nerve fibers to electrical stimulation and evaluated the model's accuracy by comparing the model output with pooled responses from a group of guinea pig auditory nerve fibers. It was found that the model accurately predicted the changes in neural firing probability over time to constant and variable amplitude electrical pulse trains, including speech-derived signals, delivered at rates up to 889 pulses s(-1). A simplified version of the model that did not incorporate adaptation was used to adaptively predict, within its limitations, the pulsatile electrical stimulus required to cause a desired response from neurons up to 250 pulses s(-1). Future stimulation strategies for cochlear implants and other neural prostheses may be enhanced using similar models that account for the way that neural responses are altered by previous stimulation.

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