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Durham e-Theses
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Neural Prosthetic Advancement: identification of circuitry in the Posterior Parietal Cortex

CACACE, ALESSIA (2020) Neural Prosthetic Advancement: identification of circuitry in the Posterior Parietal Cortex. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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There are limited options for rehabilitation following an established Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) resulting in paralysis. For most of the individuals affected, SCI means a lifetime of confinement to a wheelchair and overall reduced independence.
Brain-Computer and Brain-Machine Interface (BCI and BMI) techniques may be of aid when used for assistive purposes. However, these techniques are still far from being implemented in daily rehabilitative practice.
Existing literature on the use of BCI and BMI techniques in SCI is limited and focuses on the extraction of motor control signals from the primary motor cortex (M1). However, evidence suggests that in long-term established SCI the functional activation of motor and premotor areas tends to decrease over time.
In the present project, we explore the possibility of successful implementation of assistive BCI and BMI systems using posterior parietal areas as extraction sites of motor control activity.
Firstly, we will investigate the representation of space in the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and whether evidence of body-centered reference frames can be found in healthy individuals.
We will then proceed to extract information regarding the residual level of motor imagery activity in individuals suffering from long-term and high-level SCI. Our aim is to ascertain whether functional activation of motor and posterior areas is comparable to that of matched controls.
Finally, we will present work that was done in collaboration with the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research that can offer an example of successful application of a BCI technique for rehabilitation purposes.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Psychology, Department of
Thesis Date:2020
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Apr 2020 16:23

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