Decoding Motor Imagery from the Posterior Parietal Cortex of a Tetraplegic Human
Nonhuman primate and human studies have suggested that populations of neurons in the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) may represent high-level aspects of action planning that can be used to control external devices as part of a brain-machine interface. However, there is no direct neuron-recording evidence that human PPC is involved in action planning, and the suitability of these signals for neuroprosthetic control has not been tested.We recorded neural population activity with arrays of microelectrodes implanted in the PPC of a tetraplegic subject. Motor imagery could be decoded from these neural populations, including imagined goals, trajectories, and types of movement.These findings indicate that the PPC of humans represents high-level, cognitive aspects of action and that the PPC can be a rich source for cognitive control signals for neural prosthetics that assist paralyzed patients.
© 2015 American Association for the Advancement of Science. These authors contributed equally to this work. Submitted 20 December 2014; accepted 31 March 2015. We thank EGS for his unwavering dedication and enthusiasm, which made this study possible. We acknowledge V. Shcherbatyuk for computer assistance; T. Yao, A. Berumen, and S. Oviedo, for administrative support; K. Durkin for nursing assistance; and our colleagues at the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins and at Blackrock Microsystems for technical support. This work was supported by the NIH under grants EY013337, EY015545, and P50 MH942581A; the Boswell Foundation; The Center for Neurorestoration at the University of Southern California; and Defense Department contract N66001-10-4056. All primary behavioral and neurophysiological data are archived in the Division of Biology and Biological Engineering at the California Institute of Technology.
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