Mirror neurons—those that discharge both when a subject performs and action and when the same subject observes the same action being performed by another individual—have been thought to play a role in understanding the actions of other individuals.
Learn more about Observation of Performance: Mirror Neurons
Much has been learned about how neurons in the central nervous system are related to various features of movement, but relatively little has been learned about voluntary control per se. This stems from the fact that voluntary control generally is coupled to body movement, muscle contractions, and sensory feedback.
Learn more about Voluntary Control of Neuronal Activity
We currently are exploring dexterous control of an avatar hand through a brain-computer interface. To address the challenge of controlling the complexity of the hand, we emphasize a variety of approaches beyond fixed, linear decoding of neural activity.
Learn more about Controlling a Dexterous Hand From Neural Signals
We recently found that instructions about which movement to perform, normally delivered with different light emitting diodes (LEDs), can be delivered instead with intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) in the premotor cortex (PM).
Learn more about Injecting Instructions in Cortical Association Areas.
The hand often is used for manipulating an object, but much more is known about how the nervous system controls the reach and grasp that typically precedes manipulation. We are exploring the neural and muscular activity underlying manipulation, and how that relates to the activity that controls the preceding reach and grasp.
Learn more about Reach, Grasp, and Manipulation