At the BCISamara-2019 conference, Alexei Osadchy, director of the Center for Bioelectrical Interfaces at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, presented first results of research on a bi-directional invasive brain-computer interface, which not only allows to control the neuroprosthesis, but also to transmit sensitivity signals to brain. Neurosurgical and medical support of the project is provided by the V.A. Almazov Scientific and Research Center and Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry.
At the first stage, a team led by Osadchy and Mikhail Lebedev trained an invasive interface that receives signals from the cerebral with the help of implantable electrode array to recognize movements of fingers of a healthy person. During the training, a patient with implanted electrodes moved fingers, then “decoded” signal of the motor cortex turned such movements into movements of virtual hand on the screen, which patient was watching.
These trainings will allow to create a database of patterns of finger movements in electric activity of motor and premotor cortex (the first one is active during movement, the second one – during preparation to it), however even now this database can be of practical use. Results of the first step will be used during wake-up neurosurgery operations to map the motor cortex and areas of the brain that are responsible for speech, it is important to accurately map these areas in a particular patient so as not to damage vital functions.