Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BIREHAB (Increasing the robustness and neural integration of bidirectional prostheses for rehabilitation withrobust and real time Independent Component Analysis)
Reporting period: 2017-05-01 to 2019-04-30
Regarding the second objective of the proposal, I have carried out several methodological activities to optimize the processing of electromyographic (EMG) and electroencephalographic (EEG) data by means of Blind Source Separation techniques, which I applied, along with novel signal processing methodologies, in several fields, namely to find the electrophysiological correlates of syntax, to determine the selectivity of visual cortical activation produced by optic nerve intraneural stimulation, to implement a data-driven body–machine interface for the accurate control of drones. The results show that it is possible to combine reliable myoelectric control of prostheses and somatotopic stimulation to increase the robustness and neural integration of bidirectional prostheses.
Regarding dissemination and exploitation I have co-authored 11 journal papers (3 more in preparation), 5 papers at peer-reviewed conferences, I have participated to the Hannover Messe fair with a Startup project and I am in the process of preparing 3 patents. I have given 6 invited talks at conferences and workshops, taught lessons in 4 courses, regularly performed lab representation duties, supervised 15 students and regularly served as reviewer for various journals.
These results are especially relevant for society and especially amputees. Currently prostheses are often rejected by patients, chiefly due to their lack of sensory feedback and cognitive workload required for their use. The results brought forward by the project have the potential to successfully address these issues and improve the long term efficacy and quality of hand prostheses, enabling in the future near-natural replacement of missing hands, as well as help devising new upper limb rehabilitation strategies.