Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Annu Rev Neurosci. 2009;32:249-66. doi: 10.1146/annurev.neuro.051508.135241.

The science of neural interface systems.

Author information

  • 1Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, and Committees on Computational Neuroscience and Neurobiology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


The ultimate goal of neural interface research is to create links between the nervous system and the outside world either by stimulating or by recording from neural tissue to treat or assist people with sensory, motor, or other disabilities of neural function. Although electrical stimulation systems have already reached widespread clinical application, neural interfaces that record neural signals to decipher movement intentions are only now beginning to develop into clinically viable systems to help paralyzed people. We begin by reviewing state-of-the-art research and early-stage clinical recording systems and focus on systems that record single-unit action potentials. We then address the potential for neural interface research to enhance basic scientific understanding of brain function by offering unique insights in neural coding and representation, plasticity, brain-behavior relations, and the neurobiology of disease. Finally, we discuss technical and scientific challenges faced by these systems before they are widely adopted by severely motor-disabled patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk