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Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 1 • Date March 2006

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Displaying Results 1 - 19 of 19
  • Table of contents

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  • IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering publication information

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  • Editorial

    Page(s): 1 - 4
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  • Sites of neuronal excitation by epiretinal electrical stimulation

    Page(s): 5 - 13
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    Action potentials arising from retinal ganglion cells ultimately create visual percepts. In persons blind from retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration, viable retinal ganglion cells remain, and the retina can be stimulated electrically to restore partial sight. However, it is unclear what neuronal elements in the retina are activated by epiretinal electrical stimulation. This study investigated the effects of cellular geometry, electrode to neuron distance, stimulus duration, and stimulus polarity on excitation of a retinal ganglion cell with an epiretinal electrode. Computer-based compartmental models representing simplified retinal ganglion cell morphology provided evidence that the threshold for excitation was lower when an electrode was located in proximity to the characteristic 90° bend in the axon of the retinal ganglion cell than when it was located over a passing axon of the nerve fiber layer. This electrode-position-dependent difference in threshold occurred with both cathodic and anodic monophasic stimuli, with point source and disk electrodes, at multiple electrode-to-neuron distances, and was robust to changes in the electrical properties of the model. This finding reveals that the physical geometry of the retinal ganglion cells produces stimulation thresholds that depend strongly on electrode position. The low excitation thresholds near the bend in the axon will result in activation of cells local to the electrode at lower currents than required to excite passing axons. This pattern of activation provides a potential explanation of how epiretinal electrical stimulation results in the production of punctuate, rather than diffuse or streaky phosphenes. View full abstract»

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  • Modulation effects of epidural spinal cord stimulation on muscle activities during walking

    Page(s): 14 - 23
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    Epidural spinal cord stimulation (ESCS) combined with partial weight bearing therapy (PWBT) has been reported to facilitate recovery of functional walking for individuals after chronic incomplete spinal cord injury (ISCI). Muscle activities were analyzed in this report to examine the modulation effect of ESCS on muscle recruitment during gait training. Two ISCI individuals participated in the study and both are classified as ASIA C with low motor scores in the lower limbs. Stimulating electrodes were placed at the epidural space over T10-L2 spinal segments, along the midline in participant 1 (S1), and off-midline in participant 2 (S2). Surface electromyograms (EMGs) from leg muscles under both ESCS ON and OFF conditions recorded during treadmill gait were analyzed in time-frequency domains. ESCS application produced acute modulations in muscle activities in both participants, but the observed pattern, magnitude, and spectral content of the EMGs differed. In S1, ESCS induced a significant shift in the temporal pattern of muscle activity toward normal comparing with that when ESCS was OFF, though without eliciting noticeable change in frequency distribution between ESCS ON and OFF conditions. When ESCS was applied in S2, a modulation of EMG magnitude was observed and, consequently, improved joint kinematics during walking. In this case, a stimulation entrainment appeared in time-frequency analysis. The results suggest that ESCS activates neural structures in the dorsal aspect of the spinal cord and facilitates gait-related muscle recruitment. The exact effects of ESCS depend on the electrode placement and possibly injury history and residual functions, but in general ESCS produces a positive effect on improved walking speed, endurance, and reduced sense of effort in both ISCI subjects. View full abstract»

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  • Robust classification of EEG signal for brain-computer interface

    Page(s): 24 - 29
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    We report the implementation of a text input application (speller) based on the P300 event related potential. We obtain high accuracies by using an SVM classifier and a novel feature. These techniques enable us to maintain fast performance without sacrificing the accuracy, thus making the speller usable in an online mode. In order to further improve the usability, we perform various studies on the data with a view to minimizing the training time required. We present data collected from nine healthy subjects, along with the high accuracies (of the order of 95% or more) measured online. We show that the training time can be further reduced by a factor of two from its current value of about 20 min. High accuracy, fast learning, and online performance make this P300 speller a potential communication tool for severely disabled individuals, who have lost all other means of communication and are otherwise cut off from the world, provided their disability does not interfere with the performance of the speller. View full abstract»

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  • Steady-state somatosensory evoked potentials: suitable brain signals for brain-computer interfaces?

    Page(s): 30 - 37
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    One of the main issues in designing a brain-computer interface (BCI) is to find brain patterns, which could easily be detected. One of these pattern is the steady-state evoked potential (SSEP). SSEPs induced through the visual sense have already been used for brain-computer communication. In this work, a BCI system is introduced based on steady-state somatosensory evoked potentials (SSSEPs). Transducers have been used for the stimulation of both index fingers using tactile stimulation in the "resonance"-like frequency range of the somatosensory system. Four subjects participated in the experiments and were trained to modulate induced SSSEPs. Two of them learned to modify the patterns in order to set up a BCI with an accuracy of between 70% and 80%. Results presented in this work give evidence that it is possible to set up a BCI which is based on SSSEPs. View full abstract»

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  • The effect of random modulation of functional electrical stimulation parameters on muscle fatigue

    Page(s): 38 - 45
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (577 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Muscle contractions induced by functional electrical stimulation (FES) tend to result in rapid muscle fatigue, which greatly limits activities such as FES-assisted standing and walking. It was hypothesized that muscle fatigue caused by FES could be reduced by randomly modulating parameters of the electrical stimulus. Seven paraplegic subjects participated in this study. While subjects were seated, FES was applied to quadriceps and tibialis anterior muscles bilaterally using surface electrodes. The isometric force was measured, and the time for the force to drop by 3 dB (fatigue time) and the normalized force-time integral (FTI) were determined. Four different modes of FES were applied in random order: constant stimulation, randomized frequency (mean 40 Hz), randomized current amplitude, and randomized pulsewidth (mean 250 μs). In randomized trials, stimulation parameters were stochastically modulated every 100 ms in a range of ±15% using a uniform probability distribution. There was no significant difference between the fatigue time measurements for the four modes of stimulation. There was also no significant difference in the FTI measurements. Therefore, our particular method of stochastic modulation of the stimulation parameters, which involved moderate (15%) variations updated every 100 ms and centered around 40 Hz, appeared to have no effect on muscle fatigue. There was a strong correlation between maximum force measurements and stimulation order, which was not apparent in the fatigue time or FTI measurements. It was concluded that a 10-min rest period between stimulation trials was insufficient to allow full recovery of muscle strength. View full abstract»

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  • Dynamic modeling and torque estimation of FES-assisted arm-free standing for paraplegics

    Page(s): 46 - 54
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    This paper presents an application of recent findings in the field of redundant robotic systems control, toward investigating the feasibility of functional electrical stimulation (FES) assisted arm-free standing for paraplegics. Twelve degrees-of-freedom (DOF) forward and inverse dynamic models of quiet standing have been developed. These models were used to investigate the minimum number of DOF that would need to be actuated in order to generate stable quiet standing in paraplegics despite internal and external disturbances. The results presented herein suggest that the proposed nonlinear dynamic model could achieve guaranteed asymptotic stability with only six active DOF, assuming that the remaining six DOF are passive, i.e., there is no active or passive torques applied to those DOF. The stability analyses were performed using a proportional and derivative (PD) controller coupled with gravity compensation. The results of this analysis suggest that if only six particular DOF are actively controlled in a paraplegic subject, this individual should be able to achieve stable quiet standing despite disturbances. This result has both clinical and system-design implications for the development of a device that will facilitate FES-assisted arm-free quiet standing. The clinical implication is, if a paraplegic patient can exert voluntary control over specified six DOF in the lower limbs, that patient, after intensive physiotherapy, will have the potential to perform quiet standing unassisted. The system-design implication is that FES-assisted arm-free standing for paraplegics is theoretically plausible if one would actively control only six out of 12 DOF in the lower limbs. The proposed solution does not require the locking of joints in the lower limbs (commonly applied in the field) or voluntary control of the upper body to compensate for the internal and external disturbances. Another important finding of this study is the existence of six different combinations of six ac- - tive DOF able to facilitate stable quiet standing. This dynamic redundancy of the biological bipedal stance allows the selection of an ideal subset of six DOF in designing a neuroprosthesis for standing. This further implies that a considerably less complex FES system than previously anticipated needs to be developed for FES-assisted standing. View full abstract»

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  • Adaptive force regulation of muscle strengthening rehabilitation device with magnetorheological fluids

    Page(s): 55 - 63
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    In rehabilitation from neuromuscular trauma or injury, strengthening exercises are often prescribed by physical therapists to recover as much function as possible. Strengthening equipment used in clinical settings range from low-cost devices, such as sandbag weights or elastic bands to large and expensive isotonic and isokinetic devices. The low-cost devices are incapable of measuring strength gains and apply resistance based on the lowest level of torque that is produced by a muscle group. Resistance that varies with joint angle can be achieved with isokinetic devices in which angular velocity is held constant and variable torque is generated when the patient attempts to move faster than the device but are ineffective if a patient cannot generate torque rapidly. In this paper, we report the development of a versatile rehabilitation device that can be used to strengthen different muscle groups based on the torque generating capability of the muscle that changes with joint angle. The device is low cost, is smaller than other commercially available machines, and can be programmed to apply resistance that is unique to a particular patient and that will optimize strengthening. The core of the device, a damper with smart magnetorheological fluids, provides passive exercise force. A digital adaptive control is capable of regulating exercise force precisely following the muscle strengthening profile prescribed by a physical therapist. The device could be programmed with artificial intelligence to dynamically adjust the target force profile to optimize rehabilitation effects. The device provides both isometric and isokinetic strength training and can be developed into a small, low-cost device that may be capable of providing optimal strengthening in the home. View full abstract»

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  • Neural network-based hybrid human-in-the-loop control for meal assistance orthosis

    Page(s): 64 - 75
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    In order to assist some elderly and disabled people, who have partly or completely lost the ability of moving their upper limbs due to neurological disabilities or spinal cord disease, to take meals by themselves independently, a new type of meal assistance orthosis was recently developed. This paper presents a neural network-based hybrid human-in-the-loop control for this meal assistance orthosis with functional and safety purposes. In this approach, the position control and the force-free control are integrated into a single controller based on the model of meal assistance orthosis. By means of the position control, the meal assistance orthosis is controlled to generate appropriate compensation forces for assisting the movement of upper limb. In order to reduce the risk of hurting the bodies of human end-users and of damaging the device due to the impact from large external forces, with the force-free control, the meal assistance orthosis can flexibly move with the driven of large external forces. In addition, the controller of the meal assistance orthosis can be smoothly switched between the position control and the force-free control through a designed process to avoid instantaneously generating large external force owing to hard switching. In order to improve the adaptability of the proposed approach to different subjects, neural networks are adopted in the controller. Moreover, the proposed approach fully takes into account the influence of external forces induced by upper limb in the control process to form a kind of human-in-the-loop control. With the simulation and experiment of the meal assistance orthosis, the effectiveness of the proposed method was verified. View full abstract»

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  • Accessing the influence of repositioning on the pelvis' 3-D orientation in wheelchair users

    Page(s): 76 - 82
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    This study aimed at evaluating the effects of mechanical repositioning, obtained by the increase in seat-to-back (STB) and system tilt angles, on the position of the pelvis with spinal-cord injured subjects seated in a wheelchair. The noninvasive method used combined magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images of the whole pelvis obtained in a supine posture and ultrasound images of the pelvic iliac crests obtained in four seating positions. The matching of the two image data sets enabled the location of fourteen pelvic landmarks in the seated positions. From these landmarks, the pelvic tilt, obliquity, and transverse rotation, and the three-dimensional (3-D) motion of the pelvis were calculated. Results showed that the increase in STB angle is not equal to the calculated increase in pelvic tilt and that the pelvis rotated posteriorly, moved forward and downwards. An increase in the system tilt moved the pelvis rearwards and downwards, which counterbalanced the movement seen with the increase in STB. At the return to the first position, no significant changes were observed in the pelvis' position and orientation compared to the initial posture. Results also demonstrated the importance in calculating the total 3-D rotations and translations to characterize adequately the pelvic movement. View full abstract»

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  • Development and qualitative assessment of the GAMECycle exercise system

    Page(s): 83 - 90
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    Increased physical activity is important for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, among people with disabilities, inactivity is prevalent. In order to encourage exercise among members of this group, an exercise system combining arm ergometry with video gaming, called the GAMECycle was previously developed. User input was received through an arm crank ergometer on a swivel, with the angular velocity of the ergometer resistance wheel controlling one axis and rotation of ergometer about the swivel controlling the other. The purpose of this study was to detail the algorithms used in this device and present novel features included in a second generation of the GAMECycle. The features include a wheel on base, a steering return mechanism, and wireless fire buttons. A focus group of clinicians (n=8), wheelchair users (n=8), and clinician wheelchair users (n=2) was conducted to evaluate the features of the GAMECycle. The focus group suggested improvements to the steering mechanism and to reduce vibration in the system. However, the focus group enjoyed the GAMECycle and felt that it would encourage exercise among persons with disabilities. View full abstract»

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  • Evaluation of the stability of intracortical microelectrode arrays

    Page(s): 91 - 100
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    In order to use recorded neural activities from the brain as control signals for neuroprosthesis devices, it is important to maintain a stable interface between chronically implanted microelectrodes and neural tissue. Our previous paper introduced a method to quantify the stability of the recording microelectrodes. In this paper, the method is refined 1) by incorporating stereotypical behavioral patterns into the spike sorting program and 2) by using a classifier based on Bayes theorem for assigning the recorded action potentials to the underlying neural generators. An improved method for calculating stability index is proposed. The results for the stability of microelectrode arrays that differ in structure are presented. View full abstract»

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  • Solutions to electromagnetic interference problems between cochlear implants and GSM phones

    Page(s): 101 - 108
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    For persons using cochlear implants, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) problems may sometimes be an obstacle to using digital cellular telephones. This study aimed at exploring the benefit of three new assistive listening device prototypes that eliminate or diminish EMC problems. Ten experienced cochlear implant users listened in quiet to running speech samples and a sentence test on a landline phone, a digital cellular phone with and without three prototypes. The subjects' performance was assessed using a sentence test, a subjective visual analog scale, and by ranking the best and the poorest listening condition. Compared to the other test conditions, listening to a digital cellular phone alone revealed, on average, the poorest sentence recognition scores (29%) and the poorest results in four different subjective judgments (the amount of disturbances, the clarity of the message, the quality of the sound, overall judgment) with all three implant systems tested. The prototypes generally helped the implantees to recognize speech better on the cellular telephone (by 10-21 percent units, on average). Use of assistive listening devices and further development of EMC of both cochlear implant systems and digital cellular phones needs to take place to enable smooth use of digital cellular phones for all implantees. View full abstract»

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  • Neural-electronic inhibition simulated with a neuron model implemented in SPICE

    Page(s): 109 - 115
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    There have been numerous studies presented in the literature related to the simulation of the interaction between biological neurons and electronic devices. A complicating factor associated with these simulations is the algebraic complexity involved in implementation. This complication has impeded simulation of more involved neural-electronic circuitry and consequently has limited potential advancements in the integration of biological neurons with synthetic electronics. In this paper, we describe a modification to a previously proposed SPICE based Hodgkin-Huxley neuron model that demonstrates more physiologically relevant electrical behavior. We utilize this SPICE based neuron model in conjunction with an external circuit that allows for artificial selective inhibition of neural spiking. The neural firing control scheme proposed herein would allow for action potential frequency modulation of neural activity that, if developed further, could potentially be applied to suppress undesirable neural activity that manifests symptomatically as the tremors or seizures associated with specific pathologies of the nervous system. View full abstract»

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  • An oral tactile interface for blind navigation

    Page(s): 116 - 123
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    An oral tactile interface was designed and evaluated to provide directional cues through the tactile channel, which may be utilized by a blind traveler to obtain directional guidance in outdoor navigation. The device was implemented as a mouthpiece with a microfabricated electrotactile display on top for tactile presentation onto the roof of the mouth and a tongue touch keypad at the bottom for simultaneous operation by the tongue. An experimental system allowed a user to communicate with a computer tactilely by using the oral interface. Directional cues were presented to the user as line or arrow patterns with four moving directions (leftward, rightward, forward, and backward). Electrotactile presentation on the roof of the mouth was evaluated in experiments of threshold measurement and identification of directional cues. Experimental results from six human subjects showed that the roof of the mouth required stimulation intensities around 15 V for threshold sensation, and around 25-30 V for comfortable and well-perceived stimulation. Furthermore, identification of leftward or rightward movements was highly accurate while performance on forward or backward moving patterns was mixed and varied considerably among subjects. View full abstract»

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  • IEEE order form for reprints

    Page(s): 124
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  • IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering Information for authors

    Page(s): c3
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Aims & Scope

IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering focuses on the rehabilitative and neural aspects of biomedical engineering.

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Editor-in-Chief
Paul Sajda
Columbia University