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Published April 10, 2018 | Published + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Proprioceptive and cutaneous sensations in humans elicited by intracortical microstimulation


Pioneering work with nonhuman primates and recent human studies established intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) in primary somatosensory cortex (S1) as a method of inducing discriminable artificial sensation. However, these artificial sensations do not yet provide the breadth of cutaneous and proprioceptive percepts available through natural stimulation. In a tetraplegic human with two microelectrode arrays implanted in S1, we report replicable elicitations of sensations in both the cutaneous and proprioceptive modalities localized to the contralateral arm, dependent on both amplitude and frequency of stimulation. Furthermore, we found a subset of electrodes that exhibited multimodal properties, and that proprioceptive percepts on these electrodes were associated with higher amplitudes, irrespective of the frequency. These novel results demonstrate the ability to provide naturalistic percepts through ICMS that can more closely mimic the body's natural physiological capabilities. Furthermore, delivering both cutaneous and proprioceptive sensations through artificial somatosensory feedback could improve performance and embodiment in brain-machine interfaces.

Additional Information

© 2018 Armenta Salas et al. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited. Received: 18 October 2017; Accepted: 20 February 2018; Published: 10 April 2018. We would like to thank FG for his efforts and engagement in the clinical study, and the clinical staff at Rancho Los Amigos for their work and dedication during the experimental sessions. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication. Author Contributions: Michelle Armenta Salas, Luke Bashford, Resources, Data curation, Software, Formal analysis, Validation, Investigation, Visualization, Methodology, Writing—original draft, Writing—review and editing; Spencer Kellis, Conceptualization, Resources, Data curation, Software, Formal analysis, Supervision, Funding acquisition, Validation, Investigation, Visualization, Methodology, Writing—original draft, Writing—review and editing; Matiar Jafari, Software, Investigation, Methodology; HyeongChan Jo, Methodology; Daniel Kramer, Resources, Investigation; Kathleen Shanfield, Resources; Kelsie Pejsa, Resources, Project administration; Brian Lee, Resources, Methodology; Charles Y Liu, Conceptualization, Resources, Funding acquisition, Methodology; Richard A Andersen, Conceptualization, Resour- ces, Supervision, Funding acquisition, Validation, Methodology, Project administration, Writing—review and editing. Competing interests: The authors declare that no competing interests exist. Ethics: Clinical trial registration: NCT01964261. Human subjects: This study was conducted in accordance with a protocol reviewed and approved by the FDA as well as Institutional Review Boards at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center and the University of Southern California (associated protocol numbers: Caltech IRB #15-0501, USC IRB #HS-13-00492 and RLA IRB #154). The subject provided informed consent to participate in the study, and also gave informed consent to publish.

Attached Files

Published - elife-32904-v1.pdf

Supplemental Material - elife-32904-code1-v1.zip

Supplemental Material - elife-32904-transrepform-v1.pdf


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August 19, 2023
October 20, 2023