The Brain Prosthesis Experiment
The ``brain in a vat'' experiment ..
Organoid brain tissue before (left) and after (center) exposure to Zika virus, and then after treatment with drugs (right). Zika infection (green) leads to widespread cell death (magenta), but the drugs effectively reduced infection and neural tissue death.
955 The brain prosthesis experiment ..
Assistive technologies help patients to reacquire interacting capabilities with the environment and improve their quality of life. In this manuscript we present a feasibility study in which healthy users were able to use a non-invasive Motor Imagery (MI)-based brain computer interface (BCI) to achieve linear control of an upper-limb functional electrical stimulation (FES) controlled neuro-prosthesis. The linear control allowed the real-time computation of a continuous control signal that was used by the FES system to physically set the stimulation parameters to control the upper-limb position. Even if the nature of the task makes the operation very challenging, the participants achieved a mean selection accuracy of 82.5% in a target selection experiment. An analysis of limb kinematics as well as the positioning precision was performed, showing the viability of using a BCI–FES system to control upper-limb reaching movements. The results of this study constitute an accurate use of an online non-invasive BCI to operate a FES-neuroprosthesis setting a step toward the recovery of the control of an impaired limb with the sole use of brain activity.