Article

Neural population partitioning and a concurrent brain-machine interface for sequential motor function.

1] Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. [2] Department of Neurosurgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. [3] Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Nature Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 14.98). 11/2012; DOI: 10.1038/nn.3250
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Although brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) have focused largely on performing single-targeted movements, many natural tasks involve planning a complete sequence of such movements before execution. For these tasks, a BMI that can concurrently decode the full planned sequence before its execution may also consider the higher-level goal of the task to reformulate and perform it more effectively. Using population-wide modeling, we discovered two distinct subpopulations of neurons in the rhesus monkey premotor cortex that allow two planned targets of a sequential movement to be simultaneously held in working memory without degradation. Such marked stability occurred because each subpopulation encoded either only currently held or only newly added target information irrespective of the exact sequence. On the basis of these findings, we developed a BMI that concurrently decodes a full motor sequence in advance of movement and can then accurately execute it as desired.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
86 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Various recursive Bayesian filters based on reach state equations (RSE) have been proposed to convert neural signals into reaching movements in brain-machine interfaces. When the target is known, RSE produce exquisitely smooth trajectories relative to the random walk prior in the basic Kalman filter. More realistically, the target is unknown, and gaze analysis or other side information is expected to provide a discrete set of potential targets. In anticipation of this scenario, various groups have implemented RSE-based mixture (hybrid) models, which define a discrete random variable to represent target identity. While principled, this approach sacrifices the smoothness of RSE with known targets. This paper combines empirical spiking data from primary motor cortex and mathematical analysis to explain this loss in performance. We focus on angular velocity as a meaningful and convenient measure of smoothness. Our results demonstrate that angular velocity in the trajectory is approximately proportional to change in target probability. The constant of proportionality equals the difference in heading between parallel filters from the two most probable targets, suggesting a smoothness benefit to more narrowly spaced targets. Simulation confirms that measures to smooth the data likelihood also improve the smoothness of hybrid trajectories, including increased ensemble size and uniformity in preferred directions. We speculate that closed-loop training or neuronal subset selection could be used to shape the user's tuning curves towards this end.
    06/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Brain-machine interface (BMI) performance has been improved using Kalman filters (KF) combined with closed-loop decoder adaptation (CLDA). CLDA fits the decoder parameters during closed-loop BMI operation based on the neural activity and inferred user velocity intention. These advances have resulted in the recent ReFIT-KF and SmoothBatch-KF decoders. Here we demonstrate high-performance and robust BMI control using a novel closed-loop BMI architecture termed adaptive optimal feedback-controlled (OFC) point process filter (PPF). Adaptive OFC-PPF allows subjects to issue neural commands and receive feedback with every spike event and hence at a faster rate than the KF. Moreover, it adapts the decoder parameters with every spike event in contrast to current CLDA techniques that do so on the time-scale of minutes. Finally, unlike current methods that rotate the decoded velocity vector, adaptive OFC-PPF constructs an infinite-horizon OFC model of the brain to infer velocity intention during adaptation. Preliminary data collected in a monkey suggests that adaptive OFC-PPF improves BMI control. OFC-PPF outperformed SmoothBatch-KF in a self-paced center-out movement task with 8 targets. This improvement was due to both the PPF's increased rate of control and feedback compared with the KF, and to the OFC model suggesting that the OFC better approximates the user's strategy. Also, the spike-by-spike adaptation resulted in faster performance convergence compared to current techniques. Thus adaptive OFC-PPF enabled proficient BMI control in this monkey.
    08/2014; 2014:6493-6.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neuroscientific studies of execution of the drawing-like movements usually analyze neural representation of either geometric (eg. direction, shape) or temporal (eg. speed) features of trajectories rather than trajectory's representation as a whole. This work is about mathematical ideas behind splitting and merging geometric and temporal features which characterize biological movements. Movement primitives supposedly facilitate the efficiency of movements' representation in the brain and comply with different criteria for biological movements, among them kinematic smoothness and geometric constraint. Criterion for trajectories' "maximal smoothness" of arbitrary order $n$ is employed, $n = 3$ is the case of the minimum-jerk model. I derive a class of differential equations obeyed by movement paths for which $n$th order maximally smooth trajectories have constant speed. The speed is invariant under a class of geometric transformations. Equations' solutions presumably serve as candidates for geometric movement primitives. The speed here is defined as the rate of accumulating geometric measurement along the drawn path. The geometric measurement may be chosen to be an arc in certain geometry. For example the two-thirds power-law model corresponds to piece-wise constant speed of accumulating equi-affine arc. The derived class of differential equations consists of two parts. The first part is identical for all geometric parameterizations of the path. The second part is parametrization specific and is needed to identify whether a solution of the first part indeed represents a curve. Corresponding counter-examples are provided. Equations in different geometries in plane and in space and their known solutions are presented. The derived class of differential equation is a novel tool for discovering candidates for geometric movement primitives.
    09/2014;

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
25 Downloads
Available from
Jun 1, 2014