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Peripheral Electrical Stimulation Triggered by Self-Paced Detection of Motor Intention Enhances Motor Evoked Potentials

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5 Author(s)
Niazi, I.K. ; Dept. of Health Sci. & Technol., Aalborg Univ., Aalborg, Denmark ; Mrachacz-Kersting, N. ; Ning Jiang ; Dremstrup, K.
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This paper proposes the development and experimental tests of a self-paced asynchronous brain-computer interfacing (BCI) system that detects movement related cortical potentials (MRCPs) produced during motor imagination of ankle dorsiflexion and triggers peripheral electrical stimulations timed with the occurrence of MRCPs to induce corticospinal plasticity. MRCPs were detected online from EEG signals in eight healthy subjects with a true positive rate (TPR) of 67.15±7.87% and false positive rate (FPR) of 22.05±9.07%. The excitability of the cortical projection to the target muscle (tibialis anterior) was assessed before and after the intervention through motor evoked potentials (MEP) using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). The peak of the evoked potential significantly (P=0.02) increased after the BCI intervention by 53±43% (relative to preintervention measure), although the spinal excitability (tested by stretch reflexes) did not change. These results demonstrate for the first time that it is possible to alter the corticospinal projections to the tibialis anterior muscle by using an asynchronous BCI system based on online motor imagination that triggered peripheral stimulation. This type of repetitive proprioceptive feedback training based on self-generated brain signal decoding may be a requirement for purposeful skill acquisition in intact humans and in the rehabilitation of persons with brain damage.

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Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 4 )