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J Neural Eng. 2009 Dec;6(6):066001. doi: 10.1088/1741-2560/6/6/066001. Epub 2009 Oct 1.

Decoding flexion of individual fingers using electrocorticographic signals in humans.

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BCI R&D Program, Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY, USA.


Brain signals can provide the basis for a non-muscular communication and control system, a brain-computer interface (BCI), for people with motor disabilities. A common approach to creating BCI devices is to decode kinematic parameters of movements using signals recorded by intracortical microelectrodes. Recent studies have shown that kinematic parameters of hand movements can also be accurately decoded from signals recorded by electrodes placed on the surface of the brain (electrocorticography (ECoG)). In the present study, we extend these results by demonstrating that it is also possible to decode the time course of the flexion of individual fingers using ECoG signals in humans, and by showing that these flexion time courses are highly specific to the moving finger. These results provide additional support for the hypothesis that ECoG could be the basis for powerful clinically practical BCI systems, and also indicate that ECoG is useful for studying cortical dynamics related to motor function.

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