Matching Items (54)

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Using Graphene as a Flex Resistor to Detect Biodynamics

Description

Over the past 30 years the use of graphene has been increasing at a rapid rate. The reason why graphene has become more popular is because it is starting to be understood better, and researchers are starting to recognize graphene’s

Over the past 30 years the use of graphene has been increasing at a rapid rate. The reason why graphene has become more popular is because it is starting to be understood better, and researchers are starting to recognize graphene’s unique properties. Graphene is a single atomic layer of graphite, and graphite is a three-dimensional cube base structure of carbon. Graphite has a high conductivity rate, and graphene has an even higher conductivity, meaning that graphene makes for an excellent resistor in any hardware system. Graphene is flexible, has high durability, and can vary in resistance based on its shape (Sharon 2015). With graphene being able to change its resistivity, it can act as different types of sensors. These sensors include measuring pressure, resistance, force, strain, and angle. One problem across the globe is that patients have arthritis, decaying bone density, and injuries which can easily go mistreated or not treated at all. It can be hard to determine the severity of injuries in joints by observation of the patient. There are tools and equipment that will allow a doctor to track the force and degrees of motion of certain joints, but they are mostly limited to hospitals. With graphene acting as a sensor it can be embedded into casts, braces, and even clothing. With a mobile sensor that relays accurate and continuous data to a doctor they can more precisely determine a therapy or recovery time that will better suit the patients’ needs. In this project the graphene was used to measure the angle of a patient’s wrist while they were wearing a wrist brace. From the data collected, the graphene was able to track the user’s movement of their wrist as they moved it in a single direction. The data showed the angle of the wrist ranging from zero degrees to 90 degrees. This proves that graphene can shape the way biosensing is accomplished. Biodynamics is a growing field, and with more injuries everyday it is important to study graphene and how it can be used to diagnose and prevent injuries related to joints. Graphene can be used as a biosensor which can then be implemented into a brace to allow for accurate biodynamic tracking.

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Date Created
2020-05

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Lessons from CRISPR: Establishing an Ethical Framework for Emerging Neurological Devices

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The avalanche of ongoing bioscience research has resulted in an unprecedented range of opportunities for the creation of new medical diagnostics and therapies. As the potential to develop treatments for the human body expands, the ability to control, modify, and

The avalanche of ongoing bioscience research has resulted in an unprecedented range of opportunities for the creation of new medical diagnostics and therapies. As the potential to develop treatments for the human body expands, the ability to control, modify, and interfere with abstract parts of an individual's self increases. While basic components of the self - such as the mind, consciousness, and personality - can presently only be altered by natural processes and diseases, current and emerging technologies that can cause changes in the self are in development. It is likely that as understanding of the brain and mind increases, scientists and engineers will be develop the ability to alter the mind and consciousness in profound new ways. Such a paradigm shift will be fraught with ethical concerns, and if those concerns are not handled in an appropriate manner, there is significant potential for harm. This potential for causing harm is not without precedent. Genome editing technology is an area of research which deals with an element of the fundamental self. In recent years, advancements in genome editing technology in the form of the CRISPR/Cas9 system have caused alarm and debate within scientific communities concerning the ethicalness of its use and application. Using lessons learned from the ways in which the CRISPR technology has been beneficially used, an ethical framework might be developed in order to guide the development of emerging neurotechnology. Early implementation of a framework such as the one herein proposed could guide research that is already being conducted. There is still time to influence the way that neurological device research is conducted, and it is duty of ethical scientists in this field to understand and correct these problems clearly and quickly so as to prevent harm. An ethical framework that is consistent with current ethical standards and understandings might be created by reviewing the history and development of CRISPR.

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Date Created
2018-12

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Dynamic Changes in Heart Rate and Cerebral Blood Flow During Acute Vagal Nerve Stimulation

Description

Vagal Nerve Stimulation (VNS) has been shown to be a promising therapeutic technique in treating many neurological diseases, including epilepsy, stroke, traumatic brain injury, and migraine headache. The mechanisms by which VNS acts, however, are not fully understood but may

Vagal Nerve Stimulation (VNS) has been shown to be a promising therapeutic technique in treating many neurological diseases, including epilepsy, stroke, traumatic brain injury, and migraine headache. The mechanisms by which VNS acts, however, are not fully understood but may involve changes in cerebral blood flow. The vagus nerve plays a significant role in the regulation of heart rate and cerebral blood flow that are altered during VNS. Here, we examined the effects of acute vagal nerve stimulation on both heart rate and cerebral blood flow. Laser Speckle Contrast Analysis (LASCA) was used to analyze the cerebral blood flow of male Long\u2014Evans rats. Results showed two distinct patterns of responses whereby animals either experienced a mild or severe decrease in heart rate during VNS. Further, animals that displayed mild heart rate decreases showed an increase in cerebral blood flow that persisted beyond VNS. Animals that displayed severe decreases showed a transient decrease in cerebral blood flow followed by an increase that was greater than that observed in mild animals but progressively decreased after VNS. The results suggest two distinct patterns of changes in both heart rate and cerebral blood flow that may be related to the intensity of VNS.

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Created

Date Created
2018-05

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A Mechanical Analysis of Trained Violinist Kinematics

Description

Central to current conceptions concerning the function of the nervous system is the consideration of how it manages to maintain precise control for repetitive tasks such as reaching, given the extensive observable mechanical degrees of freedom. Especially in the upper

Central to current conceptions concerning the function of the nervous system is the consideration of how it manages to maintain precise control for repetitive tasks such as reaching, given the extensive observable mechanical degrees of freedom. Especially in the upper extremities, there are an infinite number of orientations (degrees of freedom) that can produce the same ultimate outcome. Consider, for example, a man in a seated position pointing to an object on a table with his index finger: even if we vastly simplify the mechanics involved in that action by considering three principle joints - the shoulder, elbow, and wrist - there are an infinite number of upper arm orientations that would result in the same position of the man's index finger in three-dimensional space. It has been hypothesized that the central nervous system is capable of simplifying reaching tasks by organizing the DOFs; this suggests that repetitive, simple tasks such as reaching can be planned, that the variability in repetitive tasks is minimized, and that the central nervous system is capable of increasing stability by instantaneously resisting perturbations. Previous literature indicates that variability is decreased and stability increased in trained upper extremity movement. In this study, mechanical discrepancies between violinists of varying levels of experience were identified. It was hypothesized that variability in the positional error (deviation from an expected line of motion) and velocity of the bow, as well as the produced variability in resultant elbow angles, would decrease with increasing proficiency, and that training would have no observable effect on average peak bow velocity. Data acquisition was accomplished by constructing LED triads and implementing a PhaseSpace 3D Motion Capture system. While the positional variance and peak velocity magnitude of the bow appeared unaffected by training (p >> 0.05), more advanced players demonstrated significantly higher variability in bow velocity (p << 0.001). As such, it can be concluded that repetitive training does manifest in changes in variability; however, further investigation is required to reveal the nature of these changes.

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Created

Date Created
2018-05

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Analysis of Applied Thumb and Index Force in Trained and Untrained Violinists

Description

The purpose of this experiment is to study whether there is a difference in applied finger force between violinists of different skill proficiencies. It has been hypothesized that more experienced violinists will apply less force during play in their thumb

The purpose of this experiment is to study whether there is a difference in applied finger force between violinists of different skill proficiencies. It has been hypothesized that more experienced violinists will apply less force during play in their thumb and index fingers. It was found that there was significant difference in the peak forces applied by the index finger, thumb, and grip (p < 0.05) in all groups except beginner and intermediate violinists in peak thumb force. Significant differences were also found in the continuous force applied by the index finger and grip as well as the standard deviation of the continuous force applied by the thumb (p < 0.05). Additionally, there were no significant differences in the correlation between continuous applied index finger and thumb forces or latency in index and thumb force between different levels or proficiencies (p > 0.05). Due to these results, the hypothesis could not be fully accepted signifying that further testing must be performed.

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Created

Date Created
2018-05

A Robot Hand Testbed Designed for Enhancing Embodiment and Functional Neurorehabilitation of Body Schema in Subjects With Upper Limb Impairment or Loss

Description

Many upper limb amputees experience an incessant, post-amputation “phantom limb pain” and report that their missing limbs feel paralyzed in an uncomfortable posture. One hypothesis is that efferent commands no longer generate expected afferent signals, such as proprioceptive feedback from

Many upper limb amputees experience an incessant, post-amputation “phantom limb pain” and report that their missing limbs feel paralyzed in an uncomfortable posture. One hypothesis is that efferent commands no longer generate expected afferent signals, such as proprioceptive feedback from changes in limb configuration, and that the mismatch of motor commands and visual feedback is interpreted as pain. Non-invasive therapeutic techniques for treating phantom limb pain, such as mirror visual feedback (MVF), rely on visualizations of postural changes. Advances in neural interfaces for artificial sensory feedback now make it possible to combine MVF with a high-tech “rubber hand” illusion, in which subjects develop a sense of embodiment with a fake hand when subjected to congruent visual and somatosensory feedback. We discuss clinical benefits that could arise from the confluence of known concepts such as MVF and the rubber hand illusion, and new technologies such as neural interfaces for sensory feedback and highly sensorized robot hand testbeds, such as the “BairClaw” presented here. Our multi-articulating, anthropomorphic robot testbed can be used to study proprioceptive and tactile sensory stimuli during physical finger–object interactions. Conceived for artificial grasp, manipulation, and haptic exploration, the BairClaw could also be used for future studies on the neurorehabilitation of somatosensory disorders due to upper limb impairment or loss. A remote actuation system enables the modular control of tendon-driven hands. The artificial proprioception system enables direct measurement of joint angles and tendon tensions while temperature, vibration, and skin deformation are provided by a multimodal tactile sensor. The provision of multimodal sensory feedback that is spatiotemporally consistent with commanded actions could lead to benefits such as reduced phantom limb pain, and increased prosthesis use due to improved functionality and reduced cognitive burden.

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Date Created
2015-02-19

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Uniform and Non-Uniform Perturbations in Brain-Machine Interface Task Elicit Similar Neural Strategies

Description

The neural mechanisms that take place during learning and adaptation can be directly probed with brain-machine interfaces (BMIs). We developed a BMI controlled paradigm that enabled us to enforce learning by introducing perturbations which changed the relationship between neural activity

The neural mechanisms that take place during learning and adaptation can be directly probed with brain-machine interfaces (BMIs). We developed a BMI controlled paradigm that enabled us to enforce learning by introducing perturbations which changed the relationship between neural activity and the BMI's output. We introduced a uniform perturbation to the system, through a visuomotor rotation (VMR), and a non-uniform perturbation, through a decorrelation task. The controller in the VMR was essentially unchanged, but produced an output rotated at 30° from the neurally specified output. The controller in the decorrelation trials decoupled the activity of neurons that were highly correlated in the BMI task by selectively forcing the preferred directions of these cell pairs to be orthogonal. We report that movement errors were larger in the decorrelation task, and subjects needed more trials to restore performance back to baseline. During learning, we measured decreasing trends in preferred direction changes and cross-correlation coefficients regardless of task type. Conversely, final adaptations in neural tunings were dependent on the type controller used (VMR or decorrelation). These results hint to the similar process the neural population might engage while adapting to new tasks, and how, through a global process, the neural system can arrive to individual solutions.

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Created

Date Created
2016-08-23

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The Proprioceptive Map of the Arm Is Systematic and Stable, But Idiosyncratic

Description

Visual and somatosensory signals participate together in providing an estimate of the hand's spatial location. While the ability of subjects to identify the spatial location of their hand based on visual and proprioceptive signals has previously been characterized, relatively few

Visual and somatosensory signals participate together in providing an estimate of the hand's spatial location. While the ability of subjects to identify the spatial location of their hand based on visual and proprioceptive signals has previously been characterized, relatively few studies have examined in detail the spatial structure of the proprioceptive map of the arm. Here, we reconstructed and analyzed the spatial structure of the estimation errors that resulted when subjects reported the location of their unseen hand across a 2D horizontal workspace. Hand position estimation was mapped under four conditions: with and without tactile feedback, and with the right and left hands. In the task, we moved each subject's hand to one of 100 targets in the workspace while their eyes were closed. Then, we either a) applied tactile stimulation to the fingertip by allowing the index finger to touch the target or b) as a control, hovered the fingertip 2 cm above the target. After returning the hand to a neutral position, subjects opened their eyes to verbally report where their fingertip had been. We measured and analyzed both the direction and magnitude of the resulting estimation errors. Tactile feedback reduced the magnitude of these estimation errors, but did not change their overall structure. In addition, the spatial structure of these errors was idiosyncratic: each subject had a unique pattern of errors that was stable between hands and over time. Finally, we found that at the population level the magnitude of the estimation errors had a characteristic distribution over the workspace: errors were smallest closer to the body. The stability of estimation errors across conditions and time suggests the brain constructs a proprioceptive map that is reliable, even if it is not necessarily accurate. The idiosyncrasy across subjects emphasizes that each individual constructs a map that is unique to their own experiences.

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Created

Date Created
2011-11-16

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Discriminability of Single and Multichannel Intracortical Microstimulation Within Somatosensory Cortex

Description

The addition of tactile and proprioceptive feedback to neuroprosthetic limbs is expected to significantly improve the control of these devices. Intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) of somatosensory cortex is a promising method of delivering this sensory feedback. To date, the main focus

The addition of tactile and proprioceptive feedback to neuroprosthetic limbs is expected to significantly improve the control of these devices. Intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) of somatosensory cortex is a promising method of delivering this sensory feedback. To date, the main focus of somatosensory ICMS studies has been to deliver discriminable signals, corresponding to varying intensity, to a single location in cortex. However, multiple independent and simultaneous streams of sensory information will need to be encoded by ICMS to provide functionally relevant feedback for a neuroprosthetic limb (e.g., encoding contact events and pressure on multiple digits). In this study, we evaluated the ability of an awake, behaving non-human primate (Macaca mulatta) to discriminate ICMS stimuli delivered on multiple electrodes spaced within somatosensory cortex. We delivered serial stimulation on single electrodes to evaluate the discriminability of sensations corresponding to ICMS of distinct cortical locations. Additionally, we delivered trains of multichannel stimulation, derived from a tactile sensor, synchronously across multiple electrodes. Our results indicate that discrimination of multiple ICMS stimuli is a challenging task, but that discriminable sensory percepts can be elicited by both single and multichannel ICMS on electrodes spaced within somatosensory cortex.

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Created

Date Created
2016-12-02

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Effects of Fusion Between Tactile and Proprioceptive Inputs on Tactile Perception

Description

Tactile perception is typically considered the result of cortical interpretation of afferent signals from a network of mechanical sensors underneath the skin. Yet, tactile illusion studies suggest that tactile perception can be elicited without afferent signals from mechanoceptors. Therefore, the

Tactile perception is typically considered the result of cortical interpretation of afferent signals from a network of mechanical sensors underneath the skin. Yet, tactile illusion studies suggest that tactile perception can be elicited without afferent signals from mechanoceptors. Therefore, the extent that tactile perception arises from isomorphic mapping of tactile afferents onto the somatosensory cortex remains controversial. We tested whether isomorphic mapping of tactile afferent fibers onto the cortex leads directly to tactile perception by examining whether it is independent from proprioceptive input by evaluating the impact of different hand postures on the perception of a tactile illusion across fingertips. Using the Cutaneous Rabbit Effect, a well studied illusion evoking the perception that a stimulus occurs at a location where none has been delivered, we found that hand posture has a significant effect on the perception of the illusion across the fingertips. This finding emphasizes that tactile perception arises from integration of perceived mechanical and proprioceptive input and not purely from tactile interaction with the external environment.

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Created

Date Created
2011-03-25