Minimal Invasive Environment-Brain Interface

Brain to Environment Interface

i. Non-Human Primate Interface Technology based on Epi-Dural ECoG

Rehabilitation medicine is one of the critical issues for cerebropathia, paraplegia or brain nerve damaged patient in terms of being able to control motor ability or outer circumstance. A brain?computer interface (BCI), often called a mind-machine interface (MMI), or sometimes called a direct neural interface or a brain?machine interface (BMI), is highlighted as a direct communication pathway between the brain and an external device. BCIs are often directed at assisting, augmenting, or repairing human cognitive or sensory-motor functions.

Evaluation feasibility of epidural ECoG in primates

Brain?machine interfaces (BMIs) employ the electrical activities generated by cortical neurons directly for controlling external devices and have been conceived as a means for restoring human cognitive or sensory-motor functions. The dominant approach in BMI research has been to decode motor variables based on single-unit activity (SUA). Unfortunately, this approach suffers from poor long-term stability and daily recalibration is normally required to maintain reliable performance. A possible alternative is BMIs based on subdural electrocorticograms (ECoGs), which measure population activity and may provide more durable and stable recording. However, it still has problems such as cerebro-spinal fluid leaking or inflammation. Thus, our goal in this study is to develop new type of BCI technology based on epidural ECoG inserting surface electrode above dura matter. Our research aims to evaluate the safety and usability of epdural ECoG in primate for applying to patients in the future.

Hand movement Prediction using epidural ECoG in primates

Multi neuron recordings with pin-type electrodes and electroencephalogram (EEG) which are conventionally used in BCI or BMI have several limitations such as clinical risks, biocompatibility, low signal to noise ratio and poor spatial resolution. Thus, our research aims to decode hand positions and arm joint angles during task-related movement using epidural ECoG with monkeys for applying to patients in the future. By applying this technique of which controls robot arms with brain activity into primate, we develop a state-of-the-art rehabilitation technology which will be applicable to patients with paraplegia.

ii. Human Interface Technology based on Sub-Dural ECoG in Epileptic Patient
Intracranial EEG

Intracranial EEG (iEEG) recorded neural oscillation by electrodes implanted directly inside the brain. Since these recordings measure brain activity with higher spatial and temporal resolution than other recording techniques, it is suitable to understand the neural basis of cognitive function. In human iEEG recordings were possible with exceptional patients such as epilepsy. Spatial navigation and novelty detection are crucial cognitive function to the daily living of all mammals. In particular, novelty detection is prerequisite for the efficient encoding of events into memory. The hippocampus has long been linked with spatial navigation and novelty detection.

Purpose of research

The purpose of this study was to examine the unknown mechanisms related to novelty detection during spatial navigation in human hippocampus. This Study adapted and modified VR environment used to fMRI study and designed by N. Burgess. VR environments for this study consisted of three different arenas presented by different background and ground shape among round with mountain, triangle with castle and rectangular with pyramid. VR task was divided into three sessions with completely different environment with 4 objects to look at novelty efforts. Participant could grow familiar with novelty of environment while they grab objects around VR environment.

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