Decoding continuous three-dimensional hand trajectories from epidural electrocorticographic signals in Japanese macaques

J Neural Eng. 2012 Jun;9(3):036015. doi: 10.1088/1741-2560/9/3/036015.


Brain–machine interface (BMI) technology captures brain signals to enable control of prosthetic or communication devices with the goal of assisting patients who have limited or no ability to perform voluntary movements. Decoding of inherent information in brain signals to interpret the user’s intention is one of main approaches for developing BMI technology. Subdural electrocorticography (sECoG)-based decoding provides good accuracy, but surgical complications are one of the major concerns for this approach to be applied in BMIs. In contrast, epidural electrocorticography (eECoG) is less invasive, thus it is theoretically more suitable for long-term implementation, although it is unclear whether eECoG signals carry sufficient information for decoding natural movements. We successfully decoded continuous three-dimensional hand trajectories from eECoG signals in Japanese macaques. A steady quantity of information of continuous hand movements could be acquired from the decoding system for at least several months, and a decoding model could be used for ∼10 days without significant degradation in accuracy or recalibration. The correlation coefficients between observed and predicted trajectories were lower than those for sECoG-based decoding experiments we previously reported, owing to a greater degree of chewing artifacts in eECoG-based decoding than is found in sECoG-based decoding. As one of the safest invasive recording methods available, eECoG provides an acceptable level of performance. With the ease of replacement and upgrades, eECoG systems could become the first-choice interface for real-life BMI applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Artifacts
  • Calibration
  • Cues
  • Electrodes
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Epidural Space / physiology*
  • Food
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Hand / physiology*
  • Macaca
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Mastication
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Somatosensory Cortex / physiology
  • User-Computer Interface