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Creators/Authors contains: "Pandarinath, Chethan"

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  3. Advances in our understanding of brain function, along with the development of neural interfaces that allow for the monitoring and activation of neurons, have paved the way for brain-machine interfaces (BMIs), which harness neural signals to reanimate the limbs via electrical activation of the muscles or to control extracorporeal devices, thereby bypassing the muscles and senses altogether. BMIs consist of reading out motor intent from the neuronal responses monitored in motor regions of the brain and executing intended movements with bionic limbs, reanimated limbs, or exoskeletons. BMIs also allow for the restoration of the sense of touch by electrically activating neurons in somatosensory regions of the brain, thereby evoking vivid tactile sensations and conveying feedback about object interactions. In this review, we discuss the neural mechanisms of motor control and somatosensation in able-bodied individuals and describe approaches to use neuronal responses as control signals for movement restoration and to activate residual sensory pathways to restore touch. Although the focus of the review is on intracortical approaches, we also describe alternative signal sources for control and noninvasive strategies for sensory restoration. 
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  4. Neural population activity is theorized to reflect an underlying dynamical structure. This structure can be accurately captured using state space models with explicit dynamics, such as those based on recurrent neural networks (RNNs). However, using recurrence to explicitly model dynamics necessitates sequential processing of data, slowing real-time applications such as brain-computer interfaces. Here we introduce the Neural Data Transformer (NDT), a non-recurrent alternative. We test the NDT’s ability to capture autonomous dynamical systems by applying it to synthetic datasets with known dynamics and data from monkey motor cortex during a reaching task well-modeled by RNNs. The NDT models these datasets as well as state-of-the-art recurrent models. Further, its non-recurrence enables 3.9ms inference, well within the loop time of real-time applications and more than 6 times faster than recurrent baselines on the monkey reaching dataset. These results suggest that an explicit dynamics model is not necessary to model autonomous neural population dynamics. Code: 
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  5. Abstract

    Decoders optimized offline to reconstruct intended movements from neural recordings sometimes fail to achieve optimal performance online when they are used in closed-loop as part of an intracortical brain-computer interface (iBCI). This is because typical decoder calibration routines do not model the emergent interactions between the decoder, the user, and the task parameters (e.g. target size). Here, we investigated the feasibility of simulating online performance to better guide decoder parameter selection and design. Three participants in the BrainGate2 pilot clinical trial controlled a computer cursor using a linear velocity decoder under different gain (speed scaling) and temporal smoothing parameters and acquired targets with different radii and distances. We show that a user-specific iBCI feedback control model can predict how performance changes under these different decoder and task parameters in held-out data. We also used the model to optimize a nonlinear speed scaling function for the decoder. When used online with two participants, it increased the dynamic range of decoded speeds and decreased the time taken to acquire targets (compared to an optimized standard decoder). These results suggest that it is feasible to simulate iBCI performance accurately enough to be useful for quantitative decoder optimization and design.

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