Research Projects

Volitional control of neural ensemble activity

The BMI paradigm is a powerful tool that allows investigating sensorimotor learning and control with both natural and prosthetic limbs. At the heart of this paradigm lies the volitional control of neural activity.

Model-based decoding of arm dynamics from neural ensembles

This project aims to develop a BMI architecture for real world tasks that require versatile manipulation and interaction with the environment. We propose controlling the mechanical impedance of the prosthetic device by volitionally modulating neural activity that is input to a musculoskeletal model of the arm, from which kinematic and stiffness variables can be derived.

Delivery of sensory feedback via intracortical microstimulation

Current BMI demonstrations have relied on the subject receiving visual feedback for closing the loop. We are interested in the use of ICMS as a method for delivering sensory stimuli about the prosthetic device to the central nervous system.  In particular we are investigating

if a subject can perceive and interpret ICMS as a guiding stimulus for generating more accurate motor signals to control a prosthetic device.

Technology development

At the lab we develop custom-made hardware for BMI experiments. Current developments include 1) a system for closed loop microstimulation that allows simultaneous recording and ICMS triggered by neural and/or behavioral events; and 2) using small inertial sensors to monitor behavior in subjects under different experimental conditions and for long periods of time.