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Could cortical signals control intraspinal stimulators? A theoretical evaluation

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3 Author(s)
Mushahwar, V.K. ; Dept. of Biomed. Eng. & Centre for Neurosci., Alberta Univ., Edmonton, Alta., Canada ; Guevremont, L. ; Saigal, R.

In this paper, we examine the control signals that are required to generate stepping using two different intraspinal microstimulation (ISMS) paradigms and discuss the theoretical feasibility of controlling ISMS-evoked stepping using a brain computer interface. Tonic (constant amplitude) and phasic (modulated amplitude) ISMS protocols were used to produce stepping in the hind limbs of paralyzed cats. Low-amplitude tonic ISMS activated a spinal locomotor-like network that resulted in bilateral stepping of the hind limbs. Phasic ISMS generated coordinated stepping by simultaneously activating flexor synergies in one limb coupled with extensor synergies in the other. Using these ISMS paradigms, we propose that one or two independent cortical signals will be adequate for controlling ISMS-induced stepping after SCI.

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Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 2 )