Non-Invasive Motor Neural Activity Recording Through the Cervical Region

Authors: Ben Phung

Advisor: Dr. Guna Selvaduray

Cyberkinetics Inc.’s device, BrainGate, was designed to restore limb movement to patients who suffer from spinal cord injuries and neurological diseases by translating motor neural signals directly from the motor cortex of the brain to a muscle stimulator that would stimulate a paralyzed arm to move. However, this device is currently invasive due to the requirement of brain surgery to implant the microelectrodes in the brain. The challenge of this research project is determining whether we can receive the same motor cortex neural signals from the cervical region of a person non-invasively. The reasoning behind this proposal is that motor cortex neural signals travel down the spinal cord, so why not tap into those signals through the cervical region to accomplish the same goal. The results of this research, if proven successful, could steer researchers to pursue more non-invasive methods in paralyzed limb mobility restoration.