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Representation Of Stimuli As Neural Activity

Objetivo

The main objective of the ROSANA project is to provide the theoretical knowledge and the experimental tools to artificially stimulate the peripheral nerves in such a way that the elicited responses of the neural populations of the somatosensory system are similar to those generated by natural stimuli.

Specific objectives are:
1) to determine how the interactions between sensory inputs and the activity of CNS neurones are used for creating the internal representation of real-world stimuli in the first stations of the somatosensory system, and;
2) to develop mathematical models of neural signal processing which are capable to reproduce the activity generated by specific stimulation of the skin surface and to provoke the equivalent neural activity in the target stations of the somatosensory system.

DESCRIPTION OF WORK
To achieve the above mentioned objectives one needs to know 1) the relations between peripheral stimulation patterns (stimuli to the skin) and the electrical activity of the sensory nerves and 2) the normal activity of the processing neurones and the interactions between incoming electrical signals and processing neurones in an early station of the somatosensory system. Then one must be able to produce artificial stimulation patterns which could provoke the equivalent neural activity in the target stations of he somatosensory system. For this the following operational sequence is proposed:
1) Implantation of a sieve microelectrode in a sensory nerve of a cat to record neural activity and stimulate electrically a small number of individual sensory fibres;
2) After complete regeneration of the nerve fibres stimulation of a small region of the skin by means of a battery of mechanical stimuli;
3) During skin stimulation recording of the activity of small ensembles of nerve fibres (5-10) that have been regenerated through the sieve holes (10-100), the activity in the cuneate nucleus (8-12 simultaneous extra cellular single-unit recordings), and the activity in the somatosensory cortex (3-4 electrodes designed for unitary recordings);
4) Data analysis to establish categories for the most important mechanical stimuli according to the responses of the processing neurones. Relevant stimuli will be artificially replicated by means of direct stimulation of the sensory nerve trough the implanted microelectrode. The experimental data will be analysed to develop mathematical models for the processing of the sensory stimuli. Finally the resulting models will be tested both by "ad hoc" generation of electrical patterns and the artificial stimulation of the sensory nerve through the implanted microelectrodes.

Convocatoria de propuestas

Data not available

Régimen de financiación

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinador

UNIVERSIDAD COMPLUTENSE DE MADRID
Dirección
Avenida Seneca 2 Edificio Seneca
28040 Madrid
España

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Participantes (4)

ASSOCIACAO DO INSTITUTO DE BIOLOGIA MOLECULAR E CELULAR (AIBMC)
Portugal
Dirección
Rua Do Campo Alegre, 823
4150-180 Porto

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FRAUNHOFER GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V.
Alemania
Dirección
Hansastrasse 27c
80686 Muenchen

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UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE MADRID
España
Dirección
Cantoblanco - Carretera De Colmenar Km 15
28049 Madrid

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UNIVERSITY OF EXETER
United Kingdom
Dirección
Northcote House, The Queen's Drive
Exeter

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