Neuronal ensemble control of prosthetic devices by a human with tetraplegia

Leigh R. Hochberg, Mijail D. Serruya, Gerhard M. Friehs, Jon A. Mukand, Maryam Saleh, Abraham H. Caplan, Almut Branner, David Chen, Richard D. Penn, John P. Donoghue*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2154 Scopus citations

Abstract

Neuromotor prostheses (NMPs) aim to replace or restore lost motor functions in paralysed humans by routeing movement-related signals from the brain, around damaged parts of the nervous system, to external effectors. To translate preclinical results from intact animals to a clinically useful NMP, movement signals must persist in cortex after spinal cord injury and be engaged by movement intent when sensory inputs and limb movement are long absent. Furthermore, NMPs would require that intention-driven neuronal activity be converted into a control signal that enables useful tasks. Here we show initial results for a tetraplegic human (MN) using a pilot NMP. Neuronal ensemble activity recorded through a 96-microelectrode array implanted in primary motor cortex demonstrated that intended hand motion modulates cortical spiking patterns three years after spinal cord injury. Decoders were created, providing a 'neural cursorg' with which MN opened simulated e-mail and operated devices such as a television, even while conversing. Furthermore, MN used neural control to open and close a prosthetic hand, and perform rudimentary actions with a multi-jointed robotic arm. These early results suggest that NMPs based upon intracortical neuronal ensemble spiking activity could provide a valuable new neurotechnology to restore independence for humans with paralysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-171
Number of pages8
JournalNature
Volume442
Issue number7099
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 13 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Neuronal ensemble control of prosthetic devices by a human with tetraplegia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Hochberg, L. R., Serruya, M. D., Friehs, G. M., Mukand, J. A., Saleh, M., Caplan, A. H., Branner, A., Chen, D., Penn, R. D., & Donoghue, J. P. (2006). Neuronal ensemble control of prosthetic devices by a human with tetraplegia. Nature, 442(7099), 164-171. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature04970