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Neural Interfacing Resources


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#1 ocsrazor

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Posted 16 February 2003 - 03:36 PM


[!] 'We must develop as quickly as possible technologies that make
possible a direct connection between brain and computer, so that artificial
brains contribute to human intelligence rather than opposing it.'
-- Stephen Hawking

This thread is a comprehensive set of resources for the emerging scientific field of silico-neural interfacing. This will be a closely moderated topic following the CIRA guidelines. Read here: http://www.imminst.org/cira Please feel free to add additional information after the chat on Sunday, Feb 16. but refrain from doing so until then.

Brief Background
Actually, the field has been around since the early 1900's when researchers began recording from neurons with single electrodes. This type of research comprises the sub-discipline of neuroscience known as electrophysiology. For the last century the state of the art was to insert one or more glass electrodes into a single neuron for recording or stimulation. Only in the last decade have scientists been able to record and stimulate large populations of neurons. The previous limitations of electrode technology and computational power have now been overcome.

The current state of the art in the field is a technology called multi-electrode array recording (and stimulation). There are two main branches for this kind of work: in vivo and in vitro experiments.

In vivo work consists of placing a number of electrodes directly into the brain of a live animal. Previously, this involved individually inserting microwires (extremely time consuming) Now, bundles of wires or a group of wires on small spikes are often used as an array. A more recent development is the use of printed circuit boards or semiconductor chips to create an array of electrodes on fine needles which can be inserted. Even further developments include the use of semiconductor arrays on flexible substrates that conform to the shape of the brain and the creation of arrays which use micromotors to reposition their electrodes so that a greater area can be sampled.

Working in vivo has the advantage of allowing you to look at what goes on in a live brain with all the complexity of the 'real' system (large scale questions about how the brain works). If instead you want more control of your system and you want to answer fundamental questions about how neural networks form and process information, you would use an in vitro system.

In vitro multi-electrode systems are typically glass dishes with an array of microelectrodes embedded in the bottom of the dish. On the dish a researcher will place a whole piece of nervous tissue, a slice, or a disassociated batch of embryonic neurons. In the case of the embryonic neurons you can observe all their network formation visually (through a microscope) in addition to recording their electrical activity.

Another in vitro option which has been tried, but has not been very successful, is growing neurons directly on the gates of silicon chips (i.e. the neurons become part of the circuitry) A neuron's tendency to crawl has made this approach difficult, because they won't stay put on the gates.

The technical challenges being attacked by researchers right now include:
[>] increasing signal to noise ratios of electrodes
[>] getting more electrodes in a smaller space (increased recording resolution)
[>] producing 3-D electrode arrays
[>] creating better signal processing software for separating individual neural signals
[>] creating better data interpretation software (A.l. pattern recognition) to deal with tremendous data flow coming out of these experiments.


[!] Following will be additional posts with resources for specific subject areas in the field

Best stuff,
Ocsrazor

#2 ocsrazor

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Posted 16 February 2003 - 04:23 PM

Neural Interfacing Literature Resources: Technical Books

The DIY guide for researchers just getting started with multi-electrode recording [>] Methods for Neural Ensemble Recordings

Neural Coding
[>] Advances in Neural Population Coding
[>] Theoretical Neuroscience: Computational and Mathematical Modeling of Neural Systems
[>] Spikes: Exploring the Neural Code
[>] Neural Engineering
[>] Spiking Neuron Models
[>] Spikes, Decisions, and Actions: The Dynamical Foundations of Neuroscience

Signal Processing
[>] Multivariate Bayesian Statistics: Models for Source Separation and Signal Unmixing
[>] Nonlinear Biomedical Signal Processing, Dynamic Analysis and Modeling
[>] Nonlinear Biomedical Signal Processing, Fuzzy Logic, Neural Networks, and New Algorithms
[>] Biomedical Signal Processing and Signal Modeling

General Neuroscience
[>] Principles of Neural Science (the best neuroscience textbook - period)
[>] Brain Mapping: The Systems
[>] Brain Mapping: The Methods, Second Edition
[>] Fundamental Neuroscience, Second Edition
[>] The Human Brain Coloring Book (Cos, 306)

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#3 ocsrazor

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Posted 16 February 2003 - 06:32 PM

Neural Interfacing Literature Resources: Key Papers


This list is far from complete, but will give you good overview of current work in the field.

In vitro
[>] Two-dimensional monitoring of spiking networks in acute brain slices.
[>] Analytical characterization of spontaneous firing in networks of developing rat cultured cortical neurons.
[>] Properties of the evoked spatio-temporal electrical activity in neuronal assemblies.
[>] Activity-dependent enhancement in the reliability of correlated spike timings in cultured cortical neurons.

In vivo
[>] Multielectrode recordings: the next steps
[>] Techniques for long-term multisite neuronal ensemble recordings in behaving animals
[>] Thalamocortical and corticocortical interactions in the somatosensory system
[>] Actions from thoughts
[>] Feature article: the structure and function of dynamic cortical and thalamic receptive fields
[>] High-resolution two-dimensional spatial mapping of cat striate cortex using a 100-microelectrode array
[>] Population coding in spike trains of simultaneously recorded retinal ganglion cells
[>] A neural interface for a cortical vision prosthesis

#4 ocsrazor

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Posted 16 February 2003 - 07:10 PM

Neural Interfacing Literature Resources: Popular Press

[>] Technology Review - Rat-Brained Robot
[>] Controlling robots with the mind
[>] CNN - Monkeys use brain waves to movel a robotic arm
[>]Wired - Unlocking the Paralysis Riddle
[>] The Scientist - Neural Prosthetics Come Of Age As Research Continues
[>] Wired-Bionic Hardware
[>] Wired-Vision Quest

#5 ocsrazor

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Posted 16 February 2003 - 09:36 PM

Neural Interfacing Web Resources: Academic Labs

[>] Laboratory for Neuroengineering - Georgia Tech
[>] Pine Lab - Caltech
[>] Jimbo Lab - NTT Basic Research Laboratories
[>] Freiberg Brain Works
[>] Streit Lab - Bern Switzerland
[>] Center for Network Neuroscience - UNT
[>] Neuronal Network Electrophysiology - Nottingham UK
[>] Neural Engineering - Twente Netherlands
[>] NBT group - Genova Italy
[>] Nicolelis Lab - Duke University
[>] Fromherz Lab - Max Planck Institute
[>] Utah - Center for Neural Interfaces
[>] University of Michigan Center for Neural Communication Technology
[>] Stanford Transducers Lab
[>] Bioelectronics at Seoul National University
[>] Applied Neural Control Lab at Case Western Reserve
[>] Neurolab at Arizona State University
[>] University of Michigan Direct Brain Interface Project
[>] Cleveland FES Center
[>] Center for Sensory-Motor Integration, Denmark

#6 ocsrazor

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Posted 16 February 2003 - 09:44 PM

Neural Interfacing Web Resources: Industry

[>] Ayanda Biosystems
[>] Multi Channel Systems
[>] Panasonic
[>] Biocell-Interface
[>] Bionic Technologies
[>] Cochlear
[>] Medtronic
[>] Neural Signals
[>] Advanced Bionics
[>] NeuroControl
[>] IBVA Technology
[>] Dobelle Group
[>] Infineon
[>] Plexon
[>] Optobionics

Edited by ocsrazor, 30 March 2003 - 04:28 PM.


#7 ocsrazor

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 03:18 PM

Thanks everyone who attended last night's chat (Sun Feb 16). Great questions - they were much more technical than I would have guessed people would be interested in.

Please feel free to add information to this thread as you find it. I may ask you if I can incorporate your post into the existing links structure for easy reference. I will update the original posts with new links and comments as I find time.

One whole area of research I have not covered yet here is the neuromorphic engineering side - especially the artificial retina work.

Best,
Ocsrazor

#8 Bruce Klein

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 07:28 PM

Also, Peter held an indepth chat discussion Feb 16, 2003:

[>] Transcript : Neural-Elec. Interfacing Discussion


--
[>] The detailed chatlog can be found here

Edited by caliban, 17 February 2003 - 11:31 PM.


#9 Bruce Klein

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 08:15 PM

Peter, I'd like to thank you again.. excellent discussion and excellent resource accumulation above.

Did you say you know if the work being done at Ga State by Dr Melody Moore and Dr. Philip Kennedy with neruotrophic electrodes?
Posted Image
http://www.emory.edu...e/capturing.htm

#10 ocsrazor

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 10:47 PM

Hi BJ,

I was generally aware of this kind of research, but I didn't know about this project specifically. The application is kind of crude right now, but it is really cool that this type of ground breaking research is being done in humans . This type of work will provide all the preliminary data for what you need to do to keep an implant in a human brain for a long period of time and how to deal with things such as infection, rejection, and which materials to use. Once they move to more sensitive electrode systems like those being experimented with at Duke (see Nicolelis Lab link in the Academic Lab post above) things will really get interesting.

Best,
Ocsrazor

#11 ocsrazor

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Posted 24 February 2003 - 11:35 PM

Cochlear Implant Resources

Academic Labs
[>] Clinical Psychoacoustics - U. Minnesota
[>] Cochlear Implant Lab - U. Texas at Dallas
[>] Bionic Ear Institute - U. Melbourne, Australia
[>] Children's Hearing InstituteCollins Lab - Duke U.
[>] Cochlear Implant Research Inst. - Harvard Medical School
[>] Cochlear Implant Research - U. Michigan

Manufacturers
[>] AllHear Inc.
[>] Advanced Bionics Corporation
[>] Phillips Hearing Implants
[>] Cochlear Corporation
[>] MED-DL
[>] MXM Laboratories

#12 hughbristic

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Posted 14 March 2003 - 12:15 PM

Ocsrazor,

I just read about the hippocampal prosthesis that has been developed and is about to be tested, and it made me wonder how close we now are to the scenario portrayed in the movie, The Matrix, where the characters are able to download new skills in the blink of an eye. From what I read, this prosthesis takes incoming signals from numerous brain regions and outputs data that has been parsed in a way that allows it to be encoded into long term memory. It occurs to me that if we are able to do this, we should also be able to record these outputs and reproduce them in others, thus transferring memories without the lived experiences, a VERY [!] radical concept, which I am surprised has not been touched on in the news reports. Of course, to be like The Matrix, would require that we be able to somehow speed up the process of neural encoding, but even the idea that we could do this at normal real world speeds as opposed to "bullet time" is mind-blowing.

Moreover, if our selves can be properly viewed as the totality of our remembered experiences, if we could insert this artificial hippocampus in the brain at birth and record all activity throughout the individual's life we would have a "back-up copy" of that individual, would we not? Of course, these are the speculations of someone with only a layman's knowledge of neuroscience, so I'd like a reality check from someone with more expertise than myself. My mind is racing with the possibilities [wacko] !

Hugh

#13 ocsrazor

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Posted 14 March 2003 - 08:00 PM

Hi Hugh,

I'm swamped today but here's a quick response:

Berger's stuff is really cool, but this is just a first step. The system they have described is only taking input from a small area of tissue and the resolution is likely pretty low. They haven't published their data yet though, say I can't really say a lot yet (this could be academic vaporware :) ) . The Matrix level technology is something I could see as a possibility in about 20 years. More later...

Ocsrazor

#14 hughbristic

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Posted 16 March 2003 - 03:07 AM

Ocsrazor,

Thanks for the reply. I look forward to learning more about this as details emerge and you find the time to comment on them. I certainly don't want to distract you from the important work you are doing, and appreciate your sharing your expertise with us in these forums.

Hugh

#15 ocsrazor

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Posted 16 March 2003 - 04:23 AM

Hi Gang,

More on the Berger lab artificial hippocampal implant: as I feared there are no technical details forthcoming and from looking at all of the news stories this definitely smacks of vaporware. I have no doubt they intend to do this, Ted Berger is one of the strongest mathematical modelers of the hippocampus, but I don't think they have actually assembled the system yet, but we will see. I will try and get his abstract from the meeting in Italy IEEE Neural Engineering Conference I wish I could go, but unfortunately I became aware of it too late to submit an abstract (my mentor will pay for any conference we have a presentation at :) ) - maybe next year. IEEE is usually pretty good about publishing their conference papers.

More on vaporware - I have sent 4 requests for technical information on the Infineon 16,000 electrode neural interface array - all of which have been ignored. I have it on good authority that they are having some major technical difficulties with chip (way low signal to noise and toxic gassing because of the aluminum chemistry of the chip) So it looks like its not quite ready for prime time, and the press release was probably a stunt for their shareholders.

Best,
Ocsrazor

#16 Bruce Klein

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Posted 26 March 2003 - 06:11 PM

Synapse chip taps into brain chemistry
10:02 24 March 03
Exclusive from New Scientist Print Edition


A microchip that uses chemicals instead of pulses of electricity to stimulate neurons has been created. It could open the way to implants that interact with our nervous system in a far more subtle way than is possible now.

While electrical pulses convey impulses along neurons, the cells communicate with each other and with other cells such as muscles by releasing chemical messengers. These neurotransmitters are released from one side of a cell junction, or synapse, and picked up by receptors on the other side, triggering another electrical pulse.

http://www.newscient...p?id=ns99993523

#17 MJXII

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Posted 19 July 2003 - 12:27 PM

At this Laboratory they are helping blind people to see

http://www.eurekaler...l-apt090502.php

#18 Lazarus Long

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Posted 10 August 2003 - 04:02 PM

Cudos to you Peter, here is an article about your recent work along with some great links to other subjects raised in this thread.

http://www.scienceda...30709063842.htm

Source: Georgia Institute Of Technology
Date: 2003-07-09

Researchers Use Lab Cultures To Create Robotic 'Semi-living Artist'

Working from their university labs in two different corners of the world, U.S. and Australian researchers have created what they call a new class of creative beings, "the semi-living artist" – a picture-drawing robot in Perth, Australia whose movements are controlled by the brain signals of cultured rat cells in Atlanta.

Gripping three colored markers positioned above a white canvas, the robotic drawing arm operates based on the neural activity of a few thousand rat neurons placed in a special petri dish that keeps the cells alive. The dish, a Multi-Electrode Array (MEA), is instrumented with 60 two-way electrodes for communication between the neurons and external electronics. The neural signals are recorded and sent to a computer that translates neural activity into robotic movement.

The network of brain cells, located in Professor Steve Potter's lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, and the mechanical arm, located in the lab of Guy Ben-Ary at the University of Western Australia in Perth, interact in real-time through a data exchange system via an Internet connection between the robot and the brain cells.

And while the robot's drawings won't put any artists out of business (picture the imaginative scribbling of a three-year-old), the semi-living artist's work has a deeper significance. The team hopes to bridge the gap between biological and artificial systems to produce a machine capable of matching the intelligence of even the simplest organism.

"We're attempting to create an entity that over time will evolve, learn, and express itself through art," said Potter, a professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University.

Potter and his team in the Laboratory for Neuroengineering at Georgia Tech began collaborating with Ben-Ary's team at Western Australia in 2002. They call the robot "MEART," which stands for multi-electrode array art. The project combines the technology of multi-electrode arrays at Potter's lab with the robotic and artistic ingenuity of the team at Western Australia, called the "SymbioticA Research Group."

At the time, Ben-Ary and his group were conducting research into meshing biological technology and artistry in a project called "Fish & Chips." In that project, the team used music to stimulate electrical activity from a few fish neurons cultured on silicon chips, which in turn controlled a robotic arm.

"The goals are both to learn more about how brains work and to apply what is learned to designing fundamentally different types of artificial computing systems," said Ben-Ary, who directs the Image Acquisition and Analysis Facility in the School of Anatomy and Human Biology at Western Australia.

Meanwhile, Potter's group was already connecting cultures containing living neurons to computers using multi-electrode arrays that stimulate and record mammalian neurons. Most notably, the group developed the first robotic device whose movements are controlled by a cultured neural network capable of adaptive behavior and learning. They call the hybrid robot a "Hybrot."

The neural activity recorded by the electrodes is transmitted over a two-way communication system and processed both in Atlanta and Perth to control the robotic drawing arm. Depending on how the neuro-electrical activity fires, the robotic arm will draw on a portion of the canvas or choose how many colored markers to use at one time and which colors it will use.

Central to the experiments is Potter's belief that over time the teams will be able to establish a cultured in vitro network system that learns like the living brains in people and animals do. To achieve that, the information from the robot's sensors is sent back through the system to the cultured network of cells in the form of electrical stimuli. By closing the loop, the group hopes the robot will learn something about itself and its environment.

"I hope that this merging of art and science will get the artists thinking about our science, and the scientists thinking about what is art and what is the minimum needed to make a creative entity," Potter said. "On the science side, I hope that we can look at the drawings it makes and see some evidence of learning. Then we can scrutinize the cultured network under the microscope to help understand the learning process at the cellular level."

At the University of Western Australia, the SymbioticA Research Group is managed by Oron Catts and directed by Professors Miranda Grounds and Stuart Bunt in the School of Anatomy and Human Biology. Phil Gamblen developed the robotic arm.

###

Note: The semi-living artist will be on display at "ArtBots: The Robot Talent Show" ( http://artbots.org ) in New York City July 12 and 13 at the Eyebeam Gallery.

#19 diadulus

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 12:50 PM

People for the most part seem to be driven by chemical changes in their respective biologies which cause many changes in both personality perception ability to learn and relate ect., so any idea why all the talk seems to revolve around electrical communication, or is this just a hang over left from a Frankensteine script?

Perhaps thats why computers merely compute reaction or interest, give em a taste of chemical. Or would that be too much of an interferon thing to express?

#20 ocsrazor

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 07:27 PM

Diadulus,

Electrical interface is the easiest method for signal detection and interface to mammalian nervous systems. Direct chemical signaling is only used in the synaptic cleft of neurons (a very tiny space in the connection between neurons) and is very difficult to detect or influence externally. The type of wide spread activity you are talking about in mood change, energy level, etc is caused by changes in neuromodulator levels. These are interesting molecules, but they just affect general states and changes in their levels don't tell you a lot about specific information processing in the brain.

Not sure what you mean by the last sentence. Interferon is a protein used by the immune system to signal that an infection is occurring. It is not related to nervous system signalling.

Peter

#21 diadulus

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 01:09 PM

Hi peter,

Prick me and do i not swear, it's a joke, but evokes a brain using responce.

Simple things are simple things but to rationalise out one simple thing because its a small and difficult to mesure chemical is negation from the whole, do you believe the brain would still function as well as it does without it?

run out of time, enjoy...

#22 ocsrazor

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Posted 02 May 2004 - 11:50 PM

I never said anything about the brain functioning well without it. If you follow my posts you will see that I argue for inclusion of chemical information into models of information processing in biological nervous systems. What I am saying though is that chemical interface to the brain is very difficult to do technically, and doesn't buy you a lot of control in recording or sending in information to the brain. The electrical information is just much easier to get a hold of and use for talking to brains. We do have some hybrid electrical/chemical interface systems in the works, but the electrical end will likely carry the majority of the signal information for the forseeable future.

#23 garry

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 06:38 PM

:) Ocsrasor,
G,day I have been examing your brain-computer interfacing chip implant, Do you think that this is the best way to go? There are future dangers in playing with this type of implants I Know you have stated that transmition is only oneway but how certin are you that later this my change into to a biodirectional interface and also with the developments into nanowave and zerowave tecnolage that this may become a thourght controlling chip and takeaway the fredom of thinking for ourseleves, a god given RIGHT!. please remember I am not accusing you of thinking this way :). Wouldn't better for our futur genaration's that reserch into relaying thought output through temple pads be better or better Speach to text controll system. The last thing I am sure of is the the last thing disable people suffering with apputations need is a set of leds pugged into there skull Beleve me I,m one of them. I,m also hoping that this is not also just a way that The corprations are think that there imployes that type meger amounts of information into computers everyday are thinking that this is a way of doing it quicker and not thinking of the futur conseqenses of this, again temple pick up thourght pads externaly situated would be better. I would like to hear from you when convinant about these comments. Also I am trying to trake down the company who has developed the nervesencing bionic arm, A Idea and princable I spoke to the Perth Bionic company about a few years ago as I have the intellegents to help them improve on what has been developed so far again with out introdusing controll chips,using external nerve pickup sencers still with a few more advantages and function use? Thankyou for taking the time to read this Email and hope to hear from you soon.
Garry

#24 th3hegem0n

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 06:29 PM

Neuroscience lectures.


http://www.utdallas....rd/lectures.htm

neato.

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#25 extrasolar

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 02:38 AM

what are the best prospects for non invasive bcis?




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