What is METACOMP?
Our brain can orchestrates highly complex muscles activations to create the
whole wealth of movements that are essential for most of our daily
activities. But what if the connection between the brain and the
motor plant is severed, like in the case of spinal injuries, or
when the motor periphery itself is damaged? Recent advances in brain
research suggest that externally monitored brain signals may be
re-routed through appropriate electronic interfaces to control either
artificial motor prostheses or to natural residual motor functions.
This project aims at probing this exciting possibility to develop
motor neural prostheses.
Our specific objectives are:
1. to develop adaptive models/mechanisms
that can extract intended movements in real-time on the basis of
simultaneously recorded multiple neuronal activities in motor areas
of the cortex,
2. to use these models to investigate how neuronal representations
of purposeful arm movements are generated and modified during sensorimotor
3. to use these models as the core of an adaptive mechanism that
transforms neuronal activity in real-time to desired movements,
in a way that best represents the subject's intention, while continuously
compensating for possible changes of the sampled neural activity.
We pursue these objectives in a coordinated effort of experimental and
theoretical approaches, combining psychophysical experiments on human
subjects, neurophysiological recordings in behaving monkeys, advanced
data analysis and modeling work.
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