BME Seminar Series Apr 3

Event Date: April 3, 2013
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Location: MJIS 1001, WL campus
"Restoring the sense of touch through a brain interface" presented by Sliman J. Bensmaia, Assistant Professor, Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, University of Chicago.

Our ability to manipulate objects dexterously relies fundamentally on sensory signals originating from the hand. To restore motor function with upper-limb neuroprostheses requires that somatosensory feedback be provided to the tetraplegic patient or amputee. Given the complexity of state-of-the-art prosthetic limbs, and thus the huge state-space they can traverse, it is desirable to minimize the need of the patient to learn associations between events impinging upon the limb and arbitrary sensations. With this in mind, we have developed approaches to intuitively convey three critical types of information for object manipulation – information about contact location, force, and timing – through intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) of primary somatosensory cortex (S1). In experiments with non-human primates, we show that we can elicit percepts that are projected to a localized patch of skin and that track the force exerted on the skin. In a real-time application, we demonstrate that animals can perform a tactile discrimination task equally well whether mechanical stimuli are delivered to their native fingers or to a prosthetic one. Finally, we propose that the timing of contact events can be signaled through phasic ICMS at the onset and offset of object contact that mimics the ubiquitous on and off responses observed in S1 to complement slowly-varying force-related feedback. We anticipate that the proposed biomimetic feedback will considerably increase the dexterity and embodiment of upper-limb neuroprostheses and will constitute an important step in restoring touch to individuals who have lost it.

~BME Faculty Host: Dr. Kevin Otto~

***Coffee and juice will be provided at West Lafayette***

The seminar will be teleconferenced to SL-220 at IUPUI.