Objective: Maintenance of cognitive control is a major concern for many human disease conditions; therefore, a major goal of human neuroprosthetics is to facilitate and/or recover the cognitive function when such circumstances impair appropriate decision making.
Approach: Minicolumnar activity from the prefrontal cortex (PFC) was recorded from nonhuman primates trained to perform a delayed match to sample (DMS), via custom-designed conformal multielectrode arrays that provided inter-laminar recordings from neurons in the PFC layer 2/3 and layer 5. Such recordings were analyzed via a previously demonstrated nonlinear multi-input-multi-output (MIMO) neuroprosthesis in rodents, which extracted and characterized multicolumnar firing patterns during DMS performance.
Main results: The MIMO model verified that the conformal recorded individual PFC minicolumns responded to entrained target selections in patterns critical for successful DMS performance. This allowed the substitution of task-related layer 5 neuron firing patterns with electrical stimulation in the same recording regions during columnar transmission from layer 2/3 at the time of target selection. Such stimulation improved normal task performance, but more importantly, recovered performance when applied as a neuroprosthesis following the pharmacological disruption of decision making in the same task.
Significance: These findings provide the first successful application of neuroprosthesis in the primate brain designed specifically to restore or repair the disrupted cognitive function.