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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2016 Apr;37:53-58. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2015.12.005. Epub 2016 Jan 19.

Brain-computer interfaces for dissecting cognitive processes underlying sensorimotor control.

Author information

1
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, United States; Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Carnegie Mellon University & University of Pittsburgh, United States.
2
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, United States; Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Carnegie Mellon University & University of Pittsburgh, United States.
3
Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Carnegie Mellon University & University of Pittsburgh, United States; Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, United States; Systems Neuroscience Institute, University of Pittsburgh, United States.
4
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, United States; Department of Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, United States; Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Carnegie Mellon University & University of Pittsburgh, United States.

Abstract

Sensorimotor control engages cognitive processes such as prediction, learning, and multisensory integration. Understanding the neural mechanisms underlying these cognitive processes with arm reaching is challenging because we currently record only a fraction of the relevant neurons, the arm has nonlinear dynamics, and multiple modalities of sensory feedback contribute to control. A brain-computer interface (BCI) is a well-defined sensorimotor loop with key simplifying advantages that address each of these challenges, while engaging similar cognitive processes. As a result, BCI is becoming recognized as a powerful tool for basic scientific studies of sensorimotor control. Here, we describe the benefits of BCI for basic scientific inquiries and review recent BCI studies that have uncovered new insights into the neural mechanisms underlying sensorimotor control.

PMID:
26796293
PMCID:
PMC4860084
DOI:
10.1016/j.conb.2015.12.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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