The extensive and robust software core provided by BCI2000 is complemented by a core of physiological, behavioral, anatomical, and clinical methods and protocols for interacting with the CNS and inducing and guiding CNS plasticity that the Center has developed for and applied to laboratory studies and clinical translation. The methods developed and used in each TR&D area include:
TR&D1 (Guiding Beneficial Plasticity)
● Chronic implants for stimulating and/or recording from selected CNS sites, from multiple peripheral nerves, and from multiple muscles in freely moving animals (monkeys, rats, mice) 24hr/day for many months:
● Surgical techniques for CNS implantations in and for precise lesioning of specific areas in brain or spinal cord;
￼￼● Protocols for long-term 24hr/day monitoring and operant conditioning of specific CNS pathways in freely moving animals;
● Automated online analyses of electromyographic (EMG), ECoG, and single-neuron data from freely moving animals;
● Comprehensive kinematic analyses of motor behaviors;
● Blinded quantitative histological and immunohistochemical analyses of specific neuronal, synaptic, and receptor populations in spinal cord and brain;
● In vitro slice-based methods for recording from individual spinal motoneurons in adult rat spinal cord;
● Operant conditioning protocols for beneficially modifying spinal cord pathways in animals with spinal cord injuries and other disorders;
● Operant conditioning protocols for beneficially modifying spinal cord pathways in humans with spinal cord injuries and other disorder;
● Quantitative techniques for assessing the kinematic, EMG, and functional effects of these operant conditioning protocols in animals and humans.
TR&D 2 (Brain-Computer Interface(BCI)-Based Rehabilitation)
● Online algorithms for training and maintaining BCI control of multidimensional movements;
● The first BCI system for independent home use by people with severe disabilities;
● Signal processing and data analyses to optimize BCI performance;
● BCI communication and control applications for home use;
● Internet-based methods for monitoring BCI home use and providing technical support;
● Protocols for enhancing motor performance by control of task-related EEG features;
● Protocols for evaluating new BCI users and configuring algorithms suited to each individual;
● Efficient protocols for evaluating severely disabled people for BCI home use;
● Protocols and manuals for training caregivers to support BCI home use;
● An auditory BCI suitable for “yes/no” communication in the home;
● Protocols for monitoring BCI impact on quality of life.
TR&D 3 (Characterizing and Interacting with Cortical Processes)
● Effective procedures for executing complex BCI or cortical functional localization protocols using ECoG(electrocorticographic)-based methods with patients in a hospital environment;
● Real-time ECoG-based functional mapping techniques that can guide brain surgery;
● Efficient automated protocols for enabling people to control specific ECoG signal features;
● Procedures and software to integrate anatomical and functional imaging data from different modalities;
● Protocols for conducting multicenter ECoG-based studies;
● ECoG-based stimulation protocols to map functional connectivities among cortical areas;
●Comprehensive signal processing, machine learning, and statistical techniques for analyzing ECoG signals.
These core technologies constitute a rich base of methods, algorithms, knowledge, expertise, protocols, and teaching materials that enable and support the TR&D projects and the training and dissemination activities of the Center. Detailed information about specific components of these technologies may be found in "Training Opportunities," "Support," and "Dissemination" sections of this website.
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