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Sci Transl Med. 2016 Oct 19;8(361):361ra141. Epub 2016 Oct 13.

Intracortical microstimulation of human somatosensory cortex.

Flesher SN1,1, Collinger JL1,2,3,4, Foldes ST2,3,4, Weiss JM1,3, Downey JE1,2, Tyler-Kabara EC1,3,5,6, Bensmaia SJ7, Schwartz AB1,2,6,8,9, Boninger ML1,3,4,6, Gaunt RA10,2,3.

Author information

1
Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.
2
Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.
3
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.
4
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15206, USA.
5
Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.
6
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, USA.
7
Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.
8
Department of Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.
9
Systems Neuroscience Institute, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.
10
Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA. rag53@pitt.edu.

Abstract

Intracortical microstimulation of the somatosensory cortex offers the potential for creating a sensory neuroprosthesis to restore tactile sensation. Whereas animal studies have suggested that both cutaneous and proprioceptive percepts can be evoked using this approach, the perceptual quality of the stimuli cannot be measured in these experiments. We show that microstimulation within the hand area of the somatosensory cortex of a person with long-term spinal cord injury evokes tactile sensations perceived as originating from locations on the hand and that cortical stimulation sites are organized according to expected somatotopic principles. Many of these percepts exhibit naturalistic characteristics (including feelings of pressure), can be evoked at low stimulation amplitudes, and remain stable for months. Further, modulating the stimulus amplitude grades the perceptual intensity of the stimuli, suggesting that intracortical microstimulation could be used to convey information about the contact location and pressure necessary to perform dexterous hand movements associated with object manipulation.

PMID:
27738096
DOI:
10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf8083
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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