Injury at the cervical region of the spinal cord results in the loss of the skeletal muscle control from below the shoulders and hence causes quadriplegia. The brain-computer interface technique is one way of generating a substitute for the lost command signals in these severely paralyzed individuals using the neural signals from the brain. In this study, we are investigating the feasibility of an alternative method where the volitional signals are extracted from the cervical spinal cord above the point of injury. A microelectrode array assembly was implanted chronically at the C5-C6 level of the spinal cord in rats. Neural recordings were made during the face cleaning behavior with forelimbs as this task involves cyclic forelimb movements and does not require any training. The correlation between the volitional motor signals and the elbow movements was studied. Linear regression technique was used to reconstruct the arm movement from the rectified-integrated version of the principal neural components. The results of this study demonstrate the feasibility of extracting the motor signals from the cervical spinal cord and using them for reconstruction of the elbow movements.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuroscience (miscellaneous)