Brain-computer interface (BCI) technology aims to help individuals with disability to control assistive devices and reanimate paralyzed limbs. Our study investigated the feasibility of an electrocorticography (ECoG)-based BCI system in an individual with tetraplegia caused by C4 level spinal cord injury. ECoG signals were recorded with a high-density 32-electrode grid over the hand and arm area of the left sensorimotor cortex. The participant was able to voluntarily activate his sensorimotor cortex using attempted movements, with distinct cortical activity patterns for different segments of the upper limb. Using only brain activity, the participant achieved robust control of 3D cursor movement. The ECoG grid was explanted 28 days post-implantation with no adverse effect. This study demonstrates that ECoG signals recorded from the sensorimotor cortex can be used for real-time device control in paralyzed individuals.
Wang, W., Collinger, J. L., Degenhart, A. D., Tyler-Kabara, E. C., Schwartz, A. B., Moran, D. W., … Boninger, M. L. (2013). An Electrocorticographic Brain Interface in an Individual with Tetraplegia. PLoS ONE, 8(2). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0055344