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Using brain-computer interfaces and brain-state dependent stimulation as tools in cognitive neuroscience.

Jensen O, Bahramisharif A, Oostenveld R, Klanke S, Hadjipapas A, Okazaki YO, van Gerven MA - Front Psychol (2011)

Bottom Line: This principle of brain-state dependent stimulation may also be used as a practical tool for augmenting human behavior.In conclusion, new approaches based on online analysis of ongoing brain activity are currently in rapid development.These approaches are amongst others informed by new insight gained from electroencephalography/magnetoencephalography studies in cognitive neuroscience and hold the promise of providing new ways for investigating the brain at work.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Large efforts are currently being made to develop and improve online analysis of brain activity which can be used, e.g., for brain-computer interfacing (BCI). A BCI allows a subject to control a device by willfully changing his/her own brain activity. BCI therefore holds the promise as a tool for aiding the disabled and for augmenting human performance. While technical developments obviously are important, we will here argue that new insight gained from cognitive neuroscience can be used to identify signatures of neural activation which reliably can be modulated by the subject at will. This review will focus mainly on oscillatory activity in the alpha band which is strongly modulated by changes in covert attention. Besides developing BCIs for their traditional purpose, they might also be used as a research tool for cognitive neuroscience. There is currently a strong interest in how brain-state fluctuations impact cognition. These state fluctuations are partly reflected by ongoing oscillatory activity. The functional role of the brain state can be investigated by introducing stimuli in real-time to subjects depending on the actual state of the brain. This principle of brain-state dependent stimulation may also be used as a practical tool for augmenting human behavior. In conclusion, new approaches based on online analysis of ongoing brain activity are currently in rapid development. These approaches are amongst others informed by new insight gained from electroencephalography/magnetoencephalography studies in cognitive neuroscience and hold the promise of providing new ways for investigating the brain at work.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Online control of the firing of temporal lobe neurons. (A) Electrodes allowing for detecting single unit firing were implanted in the temporal lobe of patients prior to surgery. The firing of multiple neurons was analyzed online. The output of the analysis controlled a visual display. (B) In the visual display photos of famous persons (e.g., Marilyn Monroe and Josh Brolin) were superimposed. Subjects were asked to attend to one of the persons (e.g., Monroe). If the neurons coding for Monroe (C) fired stronger, the Monroe face was made more visible by the control loop. The example in (B) shows eight trials in which the subject was able to make the Monroe picture visible by voluntarily controlling the firing of the temporal lobe neurons. (D) The visibility of the target photo averaged over several trials. Reproduced with permission from Cerf et al. (2010).
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Figure 5: Online control of the firing of temporal lobe neurons. (A) Electrodes allowing for detecting single unit firing were implanted in the temporal lobe of patients prior to surgery. The firing of multiple neurons was analyzed online. The output of the analysis controlled a visual display. (B) In the visual display photos of famous persons (e.g., Marilyn Monroe and Josh Brolin) were superimposed. Subjects were asked to attend to one of the persons (e.g., Monroe). If the neurons coding for Monroe (C) fired stronger, the Monroe face was made more visible by the control loop. The example in (B) shows eight trials in which the subject was able to make the Monroe picture visible by voluntarily controlling the firing of the temporal lobe neurons. (D) The visibility of the target photo averaged over several trials. Reproduced with permission from Cerf et al. (2010).

Mentions: The neuronal substrate of the spontaneous fluctuations of the brain state is reflected in electrophysiological activity that can be measured with EEG, MEG, or intracranial recordings. This raises the possibility of manipulating cognitive processing by taking the online brain activity into account. One way of doing this is by changing stimuli presented to the subject depending on an online characterization of the brain activity (Hartmann et al., 2011). This was done in a recent study in which single neuron firing was recorded from human patients with electrodes implanted in medial temporal lobe regions (Cerf et al., 2010), as shown in Figure 5. The electrodes were implanted in order to identify epileptic foci prior to surgery; however, the subjects consented to participate in a cognitive study as well. What Cerf and colleagues first did was to identify neurons that fired in response to a particular picture of a famous person (e.g., Marilyn Monroe or Josh Brolin). These pictures where then superimposed but a subject was for instance asked to attend to Monroe. If the Monroe cell increased its firing (and the Brolin cell decreased), the contrast of the Monroe picture was increased by the online setup at the expense of the Brolin picture. The key finding was, that by using this manipulation, subjects were able to intentionally manipulate the visual stimuli and thus their own percept. The findings suggest that stimulus specific neurons in the human MTL are under top-down control and that their firing can be modulated by attention.


Using brain-computer interfaces and brain-state dependent stimulation as tools in cognitive neuroscience.

Jensen O, Bahramisharif A, Oostenveld R, Klanke S, Hadjipapas A, Okazaki YO, van Gerven MA - Front Psychol (2011)

Online control of the firing of temporal lobe neurons. (A) Electrodes allowing for detecting single unit firing were implanted in the temporal lobe of patients prior to surgery. The firing of multiple neurons was analyzed online. The output of the analysis controlled a visual display. (B) In the visual display photos of famous persons (e.g., Marilyn Monroe and Josh Brolin) were superimposed. Subjects were asked to attend to one of the persons (e.g., Monroe). If the neurons coding for Monroe (C) fired stronger, the Monroe face was made more visible by the control loop. The example in (B) shows eight trials in which the subject was able to make the Monroe picture visible by voluntarily controlling the firing of the temporal lobe neurons. (D) The visibility of the target photo averaged over several trials. Reproduced with permission from Cerf et al. (2010).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3108578&req=5

Figure 5: Online control of the firing of temporal lobe neurons. (A) Electrodes allowing for detecting single unit firing were implanted in the temporal lobe of patients prior to surgery. The firing of multiple neurons was analyzed online. The output of the analysis controlled a visual display. (B) In the visual display photos of famous persons (e.g., Marilyn Monroe and Josh Brolin) were superimposed. Subjects were asked to attend to one of the persons (e.g., Monroe). If the neurons coding for Monroe (C) fired stronger, the Monroe face was made more visible by the control loop. The example in (B) shows eight trials in which the subject was able to make the Monroe picture visible by voluntarily controlling the firing of the temporal lobe neurons. (D) The visibility of the target photo averaged over several trials. Reproduced with permission from Cerf et al. (2010).
Mentions: The neuronal substrate of the spontaneous fluctuations of the brain state is reflected in electrophysiological activity that can be measured with EEG, MEG, or intracranial recordings. This raises the possibility of manipulating cognitive processing by taking the online brain activity into account. One way of doing this is by changing stimuli presented to the subject depending on an online characterization of the brain activity (Hartmann et al., 2011). This was done in a recent study in which single neuron firing was recorded from human patients with electrodes implanted in medial temporal lobe regions (Cerf et al., 2010), as shown in Figure 5. The electrodes were implanted in order to identify epileptic foci prior to surgery; however, the subjects consented to participate in a cognitive study as well. What Cerf and colleagues first did was to identify neurons that fired in response to a particular picture of a famous person (e.g., Marilyn Monroe or Josh Brolin). These pictures where then superimposed but a subject was for instance asked to attend to Monroe. If the Monroe cell increased its firing (and the Brolin cell decreased), the contrast of the Monroe picture was increased by the online setup at the expense of the Brolin picture. The key finding was, that by using this manipulation, subjects were able to intentionally manipulate the visual stimuli and thus their own percept. The findings suggest that stimulus specific neurons in the human MTL are under top-down control and that their firing can be modulated by attention.

Bottom Line: This principle of brain-state dependent stimulation may also be used as a practical tool for augmenting human behavior.In conclusion, new approaches based on online analysis of ongoing brain activity are currently in rapid development.These approaches are amongst others informed by new insight gained from electroencephalography/magnetoencephalography studies in cognitive neuroscience and hold the promise of providing new ways for investigating the brain at work.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Large efforts are currently being made to develop and improve online analysis of brain activity which can be used, e.g., for brain-computer interfacing (BCI). A BCI allows a subject to control a device by willfully changing his/her own brain activity. BCI therefore holds the promise as a tool for aiding the disabled and for augmenting human performance. While technical developments obviously are important, we will here argue that new insight gained from cognitive neuroscience can be used to identify signatures of neural activation which reliably can be modulated by the subject at will. This review will focus mainly on oscillatory activity in the alpha band which is strongly modulated by changes in covert attention. Besides developing BCIs for their traditional purpose, they might also be used as a research tool for cognitive neuroscience. There is currently a strong interest in how brain-state fluctuations impact cognition. These state fluctuations are partly reflected by ongoing oscillatory activity. The functional role of the brain state can be investigated by introducing stimuli in real-time to subjects depending on the actual state of the brain. This principle of brain-state dependent stimulation may also be used as a practical tool for augmenting human behavior. In conclusion, new approaches based on online analysis of ongoing brain activity are currently in rapid development. These approaches are amongst others informed by new insight gained from electroencephalography/magnetoencephalography studies in cognitive neuroscience and hold the promise of providing new ways for investigating the brain at work.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus