Controlling selective stimulations below a spinal cord hemisection using brain recordings with a neural interface system approach
In this work we address the use of realtime cortical recordings for the generation of coherent, reliable and robust motor activity in spinal-lesioned animals through selective intraspinal microstimulation (ISMS). The spinal cord of adult rats was hemisectioned and groups of multielectrodes were implanted in both the central nervous system (CNS) and the spinal cord below the lesion level to establish a neural system interface (NSI). To test the reliability of this new NSI connection, highly repeatable neural responses recorded from the CNS were used as a pattern generator of an open-loop control strategy for selective ISMS of the spinal motoneurons. Our experimental procedure avoided the spontaneous non-controlled and non-repeatable neural activity that could have generated spurious ISMS and the consequent undesired muscle contractions. Combinations of complex CNS patterns generated precisely coordinated, reliable and robust motor actions.