Electrocorticographic Direct Brain Interface
Brain-computer interface (BCI) technology aims establish a direct link for transmitting information between the brain and external devices. It has the potential to offer a natural and rich control signal for robotic devices or functional electrical stimulators to re-animate paralyzed limbs for individuals with disabilities. Specifically, this research study will investigate an electrocorticography (ECoG) based BCI system in individuals with tetraplegia. Previously, multiple research groups, including our team, have demonstrated the feasibility of ECoG-based BCI in able-bodied individuals who received ECoG recording as part of their clinical care for seizure monitoring and brain mapping.
Different from previous studies, this research study will test ECoG-based BCI in its intended clinical user populations, and it will be a critical bridge toward the development of a practical BCI device for clinical use. Individuals with tetraplegia will be recruited for this study. A custom-made ECoG electrode grid will be implanted over the hand motor area for one month. The participant will be trained to control virtual hands and actual assistive devices, such as hand orthoses and FES systems, to grasp objects of various shapes and sizes. With knowledge and experience gained from this short-term study, we will be able to develop a fully-implantable BCI device for long-term clinical use.