Journal article

Real-Time Neural Signals Decoding onto Off-the-Shelf DSP Processors for Neuroprosthetic Applications

The control of upper limb neuroprostheses through the peripheral nervous system (PNS) can allow restoring motor functions in amputees. At present, the important aspect of the realtime implementation of neural decoding algorithms on embedded systems has been often overlooked, notwithstanding the impact that limited hardware resources have on the efficiency/effectiveness of any given algorithm. Present study is addressing the optimization of a template matching based algorithm for PNS signals decoding that is a milestone for its real-time, full implementation onto a floating-point digital signal processor (DSP). The proposed optimized real-time algorithm achieves up to 96% of correct classification on real PNS signals acquired through LIFE electrodes on animals, and can correctly sort spikes of a synthetic cortical dataset with sufficiently uncorrelated spike morphologies (93% average correct classification) comparably to the results obtained with top spike sorter (94% on average on the same dataset). The power consumption enables more than 24 h processing at the maximum load, and latency model has been derived to enable a fair performance assessment. The final embodiment demonstrates the real-time performance onto a low-power off-the-shelf DSP, opening to experiments exploiting the efferent signals to control a motor neuroprosthesis.


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