A learning-based approach to artificial sensory feedback leads to optimal integration

Nat Neurosci. 2015 Jan;18(1):138-44. doi: 10.1038/nn.3883. Epub 2014 Nov 24.


Proprioception-the sense of the body's position in space-is important to natural movement planning and execution and will likewise be necessary for successful motor prostheses and brain-machine interfaces (BMIs). Here we demonstrate that monkeys were able to learn to use an initially unfamiliar multichannel intracortical microstimulation signal, which provided continuous information about hand position relative to an unseen target, to complete accurate reaches. Furthermore, monkeys combined this artificial signal with vision to form an optimal, minimum-variance estimate of relative hand position. These results demonstrate that a learning-based approach can be used to provide a rich artificial sensory feedback signal, suggesting a new strategy for restoring proprioception to patients using BMIs, as well as a powerful new tool for studying the adaptive mechanisms of sensory integration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Brain-Computer Interfaces
  • Conditioning, Operant / physiology
  • Feedback, Psychological / physiology*
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Sensation / physiology*
  • Somatosensory Cortex / physiology
  • Visual Perception / physiology