Rehabilitation and Neural Engineering Laboratory

High Resolution Brain Mapping using Functional MRI after Upper-Limb Amputation

Study Goal

The goal of this study is to use high resolution functional MRI to map brain activity related to finger movements and sensations.

Study Summary

The purpose of this research study is to map areas of the brain related to movement of various parts of the body (hand, wrist, fingers, mouth).  We will use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to take a 3-D picture of your brain structure.  Brain activity will be measured in the same MRI scanner using a type of MRI called functional MRI.  This way we can locate exactly where the brain activity is occurring.  We will use functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure and locate brain activation relating to the movement, touch and position of various joints in the body.  We will also measure activity associated with imagining movement (e.g. "imagine moving a videogame joystick"), sound effects (e.g. differing musical tones) and physical touch (e.g. tactile or vibration stimulation).  We hope to use this information in future studies related to the surgical placement of BCI devices for individuals with upper limb amputation.

Inclusion Criteria

  • Subjects must be between the ages of 18 and 65 years old.
  • Subjects must have normal or corrected to normal vision.
  • For amputees: Subjects must have an amputation of at least one upper limb, at a level between the wrist and shoulder joints.
  • For amputees: Subjects must be over 1 year post-amputation at time of lead placement.

Exclusion Criteria

  • Subjects must not have a pacemaker, baclofen pump, cochlear implant or other electronic implanted device
  • Subjects must not have metallic implants or metal in body that is unsafe for MRI 
  • Subjects must not have visual impairment such that extended viewing of a computer monitor would be difficult
  • Control group only: Must have no history of neurological disease, motor impairments, or acute or chronic pain
  • Subjects may not be pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Individuals who weigh over 300 lbs (because of MRI space constraints)

Principal Investigator

Jennifer Collinger, PhD

For more information call
412-383-1355

Additional Information

Study Flyer