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INI Colloquium talk by: Dr. Christian Klaes (Knappschaftskrankenhaus)

Title:'Motor‐parietal cortical neuroprosthesis with somatosensory feedback for restoring hand and arm functions in tetraplegic patients'

Time: Wednesday, May 17th, 12pm
Venue: NB 3/57

Tetraplegia is a severe condition which causes paralysis from the neck down. Currently there is no cure for the condition but new technological advances have improved the autonomy and quality of patients dramatically. Restoration of arm and hand functions has been rated as the highest priority of the tetraplegic population. Recent developments in brain-computer interfaces have made it possible for patients to regain some functionality through the use of implanted electrode arrays and robotic limbs. With our approach at the Knappschaftskrankenhaus we want to improve the quality of life of tetraplegic patients by employing advanced BCI technology. We plan to implant electrode arrays in two distinct cortical areas involved in motor execution and planning, M1 and the posterior parietal cortex. We also want to provide artificial somesthetic feedback by implanting a stimulating array in the somatosensory cortex. To allow rapid prototyping of prostheses and enhance the sense of ownership we will use a state-of-the-art virtual reality environment for the patient. We expect that we will also gain new insights into basic neuroscience questions by applying our methodology on our way to improve neuroprosthetics.

The Institut für Neuroinformatik (INI) is a central research unit of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. We aim to understand the fundamental principles through which organisms generate behavior and cognition while linked to their environments through sensory systems and while acting in those environments through effector systems. Inspired by our insights into such natural cognitive systems, we seek new solutions to problems of information processing in artificial cognitive systems. We draw from a variety of disciplines that include experimental approaches from psychology and neurophysiology as well as theoretical approaches from physics, mathematics, electrical engineering and applied computer science.

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