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Brain Computer Interfaces: Challenges to Clinical Viability Addressed in the Laboratory

Mischel, Jessica (2017) Brain Computer Interfaces: Challenges to Clinical Viability Addressed in the Laboratory. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Paralysis following spinal cord injuries, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, stroke, and other disorders can intervene with signal transduction from the brain to the motor periphery, and eliminate the ability to perform volitional movements. Brain computer interfaces (BCI) directly measure brain activity associated with the user’s intent and translate the recorded brain activity into control signals for BCI applications, such as moving a computer cursor or a robot arm. While BCI technology has become an active and exciting field of research, much of the field’s development and achievements to date have taken place in the laboratory. The translation of BCI technology to the clinical setting is still not a reality.

My thesis research has been dedicated to the objective of facilitating the translation of BCI systems from the primate lab to a clinical setting. That guiding objective has led me to work on several projects including: a technique that vastly improves the longevity of surgical implants in primate studies; a task that pushes the limits of sensorimotor performance – improving our knowledge of the function of primary motor cortex during realistic reaches and allowing us to quantify feedback effectiveness; characterizing the long-term tissue response to chronically implanted electrodes, and investigating how to optimally select parameters for neural information extraction. Each of these contributions will help bring BCI systems one step closer to clinical reality.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Mischel, Jessicajlm334@pitt.eduJLM334
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBatista, Aaronapb10@pitt.eduAPB10
Committee MemberLoughlin, Patrickloughlin@pitt.eduLOUGHLIN
Committee MemberGandhi, Neerajneg8@pitt.eduNEG8
Committee MemberGaunt, Robertrag53@pitt.eduRAG53
Date: 1 February 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 14 October 2016
Approval Date: 1 February 2017
Submission Date: 21 October 2016
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 262
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Bioengineering
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Brain-Computer Interfaces, Sensorimotor Control, Monkeys, Clinical Translation, Electrocorticography, Head-fixation
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2017 18:59
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2017 06:15


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