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Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2010 Feb;21(1):157-78. doi: 10.1016/j.pmr.2009.07.003.

Neural interface technology for rehabilitation: exploiting and promoting neuroplasticity.

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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh, 3471 Fifth Ave., Suite 202, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


This article reviews neural interface technology and its relationship with neuroplasticity. Two types of neural interface technology are reviewed, highlighting specific technologies that the authors directly work with: (1) neural interface technology for neural recording, such as the micro-ECoG BCI system for hand prosthesis control, and the comprehensive rehabilitation paradigm combining MEG-BCI, action observation, and motor imagery training; (2) neural interface technology for functional neural stimulation, such as somatosensory neural stimulation for restoring somatosensation, and non-invasive cortical stimulation using rTMS and tDCS for modulating cortical excitability and stroke rehabilitation. The close interaction between neural interface devices and neuroplasticity leads to increased efficacy of neural interface devices and improved functional recovery of the nervous system. This symbiotic relationship between neural interface technology and the nervous system is expected to maximize functional gain for individuals with various sensory, motor, and cognitive impairments, eventually leading to better quality of life.

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