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IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng. 2012 Mar;20(2):153-60. doi: 10.1109/TNSRE.2011.2178614. Epub 2011 Dec 13.

Electrostimulation as a prosthesis for repair of information flow in a computer model of neocortex.

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Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, SUNY Downstate, Brooklyn, NY11203, USA.


Damage to a cortical area reduces not only information transmitted to other cortical areas, but also activation of these areas. This phenomenon, whereby the dynamics of a follower area are dramatically altered, is typically manifested as a marked reduction in activity. Ideally, neuroprosthetic stimulation would replace both information and activation. However, replacement of activation alone may be valuable as a means of restoring dynamics and information processing of other signals in this multiplexing system. We used neuroprosthetic stimulation in a computer model of the cortex to repair activation dynamics, using a simple repetitive stimulation to replace the more complex, naturalistic stimulation that had been removed. We found that we were able to restore activity in terms of neuronal firing rates. Additionally, we were able to restore information processing, measured as a restoration of causality between an experimentally recorded signal fed into the in silico brain and a cortical output. These results indicate that even simple neuroprosthetics that do not restore lost information may nonetheless be effective in improving the functionality of surrounding areas of cortex.

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