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San Jose, CA, United States

Brumberg J.S.,Boston University | Brumberg J.S.,Neural Inc. | Nieto-Castanon A.,StatsANC LLC | Kennedy P.R.,Neural Inc. | And 3 more authors.
Speech Communication | Year: 2010

This paper briefly reviews current silent speech methodologies for normal and disabled individuals. Current techniques utilizing electromyographic (EMG) recordings of vocal tract movements are useful for physically healthy individuals but fail for tetraplegic individuals who do not have accurate voluntary control over the speech articulators. Alternative methods utilizing EMG from other body parts (e.g., hand, arm, or facial muscles) or electroencephalography (EEG) can provide capable silent communication to severely paralyzed users, though current interfaces are extremely slow relative to normal conversation rates and require constant attention to a computer screen that provides visual feedback and/or cueing. We present a novel approach to the problem of silent speech via an intracortical microelectrode brain-computer interface (BCI) to predict intended speech information directly from the activity of neurons involved in speech production. The predicted speech is synthesized and acoustically fed back to the user with a delay under 50 ms. We demonstrate that the Neurotrophic Electrode used in the BCI is capable of providing useful neural recordings for over 4 years, a necessary property for BCIs that need to remain viable over the lifespan of the user. Other design considerations include neural decoding techniques based on previous research involving BCIs for computer cursor or robotic arm control via prediction of intended movement kinematics from motor cortical signals in monkeys and humans. Initial results from a study of continuous speech production with instantaneous acoustic feedback show the BCI user was able to improve his control over an artificial speech synthesizer both within and across recording sessions. The success of this initial trial validates the potential of the intracortical microelectrode-based approach for providing a speech prosthesis that can allow much more rapid communication rates. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

Kennedy P.,Neural Inc.
Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS | Year: 2012

For development of a long-term, reliable cortical recording electrode, animal and human data support the approach of trapping the brain inside the electrode. © 2012 IEEE. Source

In many brain areas, modulations in neuronal firing rates are thought to code information. However, in electrophysiological recording experiments, especially recordings in human patients, the type of information that is coded by a neuron's discharge patterns is often not known, or difficult to determine. From our long experience with chronic recordings in humans, we have come to suspect that such unexplained modulations in firing rates are often due to state changes in the subject. We here present two case studies, with extensive data in one subject to illustrate the point that a change in the subject's emotions, such as sudden fear, surprise, or happiness, may trigger substantial changes in firing rates. © 2011 Psychology Press. Source

A neural sensor includes a substrate defining an array of vias passing therethrough, a plurality of conductive surfaces, a light source, a plurality of groups of quantum dot-based luminescence units and a charge-coupled device (CCD) array. Each via allows a neurite to grow therethrough. Each conductive surface is adjacent to a different via and is electrically coupled thereto. The light source directs light toward the substrate. Each group of quantum dot-based luminescence units extends upwardly from a different one of the conductive surfaces generates light at a different predetermined wavelength when excited with light from the light source. Each luminescence unit changes its luminescence when electrically stimulated by a neural potential generated by a neurite. The CCD detects luminescence from each of the plurality of groups of quantum dot-based luminescence units and generates a signal representative of intensity of each wavelength of light detected.

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 757.24K | Year: 2006

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): In the field of cortical control signal acquisition, the recording system is a critical bottleneck for the passage of internal signals to external applications. It is agreed in this field that there are cortical control signals that can be used to control prosthetic devices and restore movement to paralyzed limbs, but these signals must be recorded and transmitted rapidly and intact. It is our goal to complete the development of a wireless, scalable 128-channel recording system, suitable for long-term human use. Applications range from communication for locked-in patients, to environmental control for the disabled, to motion restoration for the spinal cord injury population. Using two recently completed Phase I grants, Neural Signals has the necessary experience to meet this goal. The first Phase I effort (1 R43 NS-42478-01) designed and built an 8-channel, flexible, surface mount assembly, including a wireless inductive power supply, internal calibration, eight recording amplifiers, and eight FM transmitters. The hybrid circuit developed during this grant resulted in a four-fold reduction in the recording system's volume, compared to our previous implantable recording system. The second Phase I grant (1 R43 NS048706-01) has just been completed. During this grant, a 16-channel integrated circuit (1C) was fabricated to amplify signals from cortical electrodes and multiplex the signals using an analog scanner. Specific aims in Phase II are: A: Continue development of the integrated circuit device, (1) by incorporating voltage regulation and bias circuitry into the integrated circuit to minimize external semiconductor components; (2) by improving the floating gate recording amplifier and scanner based on knowledge gained during the Phase I development; (3) by continuing to develop (a) the power induction system and (b) a unique synchronous scanner transmission system that will replace the present FM system. B: Miniaturize the Neurotrophic Electrode connections for reliable connection with the 1C device. C: Choose and implement new coatings and perform soak testing and stress testing of the implantable recording device consisting of the recording amplifiers, power supply, wireless signal transmission and attached electrodes.

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