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Intracortical brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) can enable individuals to control effectors, such as a computer cursor, by directly decoding the user's movement intentions from action potentials and local field potentials (LFPs) recorded within the motor cortex. However, the accuracy and complexity of effector control achieved with such "biomimetic" BCIs will depend on the degree to which the intended movements used to elicit control modulate the neural activity. In particular, channels that do not record distinguishable action potentials and only record LFP modulations may be of limited use for BCI control. In contrast, a biofeedback approach may surpass these limitations by letting the participants generate new control signals and learn strategies that improve the volitional control of signals used for effector control. Here, we show that, by using a biofeedback paradigm, three individuals with tetraplegia achieved volitional control of gamma LFPs (40-400Hz) recorded by a single microelectrode implanted in the precentral gyrus. Control was improved over a pair of consecutive sessions up to three days apart. In all but one session, the channel used to achieve control lacked distinguishable action potentials. Our results indicate that biofeedback LFP-based BCIs may potentially contribute to the neural modulation necessary to obtain reliable and useful control of effectors.
View details for PubMedID 30785814