Article

Hochberg, L. R. et al. Neuronal ensemble control of prosthetic devices by a human with tetraplegia. Nature 442, 164-171

Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.
Nature (Impact Factor: 41.46). 08/2006; 442(7099):164-71. DOI: 10.1038/nature04970
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Neuromotor prostheses (NMPs) aim to replace or restore lost motor functions in paralysed humans by routeing movement-related signals from the brain, around damaged parts of the nervous system, to external effectors. To translate preclinical results from intact animals to a clinically useful NMP, movement signals must persist in cortex after spinal cord injury and be engaged by movement intent when sensory inputs and limb movement are long absent. Furthermore, NMPs would require that intention-driven neuronal activity be converted into a control signal that enables useful tasks. Here we show initial results for a tetraplegic human (MN) using a pilot NMP. Neuronal ensemble activity recorded through a 96-microelectrode array implanted in primary motor cortex demonstrated that intended hand motion modulates cortical spiking patterns three years after spinal cord injury. Decoders were created, providing a 'neural cursor' with which MN opened simulated e-mail and operated devices such as a television, even while conversing. Furthermore, MN used neural control to open and close a prosthetic hand, and perform rudimentary actions with a multi-jointed robotic arm. These early results suggest that NMPs based upon intracortical neuronal ensemble spiking activity could provide a valuable new neurotechnology to restore independence for humans with paralysis.

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    • "I. INTRODUCTION Wireless multi-channel neural recording systems are highly demanded in neuroscience experiments with laboratory animals to study the complex brain behavior. They are also critical components in brain-controlled neural prostheses, to restore limb movement [1]. In neuroscience, their adoption improves animal freedom of movements and reduces motion artifacts and tethering effects. "
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    • "The first strategy aims at bypassing nonfunctional cortico-spinal pathways to allow for continuous and permanent control of robotic devices (Collinger et al., 2013) or functional electric stimulation (FES) of paralyzed muscles (Moritz et al., 2008; Pohlmeyer et al., 2009; Ethier et al., 2012; McGie et al., in press; Pfurtscheller et al., 2003). By substituting for lost motor functions, such assistive BMIs have demonstrated recovery of versatile motor control in daily life activities (Hochberg et al., 2006; Collinger et al., 2013). The second strategy aims at facilitation of neuroplasticity and motor learning to enhance motor recovery (rehabilitative BMIs) (Dobkin, 2007; Soekadar et al., 2011a) (Fig. 1a). "

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