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Front Neuroeng. 2012 Aug 8;5:15. doi: 10.3389/fneng.2012.00015. eCollection 2012.

Decoding onset and direction of movements using Electrocorticographic (ECoG) signals in humans.

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Department of ECSE, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY, USA.


Communication of intent usually requires motor function. This requirement can be limiting when a person is engaged in a task, or prohibitive for some people suffering from neuromuscular disorders. Determining a person's intent, e.g., where and when to move, from brain signals rather than from muscles would have important applications in clinical or other domains. For example, detection of the onset and direction of intended movements may provide the basis for restoration of simple grasping function in people with chronic stroke, or could be used to optimize a user's interaction with the surrounding environment. Detecting the onset and direction of actual movements are a first step in this direction. In this study, we demonstrate that we can detect the onset of intended movements and their direction using electrocorticographic (ECoG) signals recorded from the surface of the cortex in humans. We also demonstrate in a simulation that the information encoded in ECoG about these movements may improve performance in a targeting task. In summary, the results in this paper suggest that detection of intended movement is possible, and may serve useful functions.


ECoG; brain computer interface; movement direction prediction; movement onset prediction; neurorehabilitatation; performance augmentation

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