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J Neural Eng. 2011 Feb;8(1):016002. doi: 10.1088/1741-2560/8/1/016002. Epub 2011 Jan 19.

State-space decoding of primary afferent neuron firing rates.

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Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, 3501 5th Avenue 5065 12B, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA.


Kinematic state feedback is important for neuroprostheses to generate stable and adaptive movements of an extremity. State information, represented in the firing rates of populations of primary afferent (PA) neurons, can be recorded at the level of the dorsal root ganglia (DRG). Previous work in cats showed the feasibility of using DRG recordings to predict the kinematic state of the hind limb using reverse regression. Although accurate decoding results were attained, reverse regression does not make efficient use of the information embedded in the firing rates of the neural population. In this paper, we present decoding results based on state-space modeling, and show that it is a more principled and more efficient method for decoding the firing rates in an ensemble of PA neurons. In particular, we show that we can extract confounded information from neurons that respond to multiple kinematic parameters, and that including velocity components in the firing rate models significantly increases the accuracy of the decoded trajectory. We show that, on average, state-space decoding is twice as efficient as reverse regression for decoding joint and endpoint kinematics.

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