Somatosensory Neuroprosthesis Research

01 December 2015

Somatosensory Neuroprosthesis Research               

Ismail DEVECIOGLU             
Bogazici University BME - PhD Candidate Seminar Series             
(Advisor/Host: Burak Guclu)             

1 December 2015 (Tuesday);   14.00 – 15.00           

Institute of Biomedical Engineering, AZ-19, 
Boğaziçi University Kandilli Campus, Istanbul

About the Seminar:
Each year, millions of people get paralyzed due to traumatic brain/spinal cord injury or have to get their limbs amputated. In order to improve physical and psychological conditions of these subjects and to regain them to society, there is a great effort to develop functional prostheses that can help them to move and even feel. In literature, different types of motorized prosthesis are proposed. The motorized prosthesis users rely on their visual senses in order to control their prostheses. However, motor planning mostly depends on multisensory feedback. In addition, sensory feedback is necessary for more versatile movements and also for easier embodiment of the device. The idea of including sensory feedback in prosthesis is relatively recent.
In this seminar, I will give a brief review of the literature on somatosensory neuroprosthetics. Although peripheral neural interface has been proposed in the literature, intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) seems to be more promising for quadriplegic patients. In Tactile Research Laboratory (Boğaziçi University, Institute of Biomedical Engineering), we study the behavioral correspondence between tactile sensation and the sensation elicited by ICMS injected into the somatosensory cortex of rats. Specifically, we question how tactile and electrical stimulation are equally detectable or discriminable from each other. We are working to utilize these behavioral measures to build tactile-to-ICMS transfer functions.
Results of our study would improve the knowledge on how tactile inputs from a prosthetic device could be translated into ICMS trains, so that elicited sensations would match natural counterparts.
About the Speaker:
İsmail Devecioğlu graduated from Marmara University with a bachelor’s degree on Electronic and Communication Teaching. He received his M.S. degree in Biomedical Sciences from Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Boğaziçi University. He studied the response properties of mechanoreceptive afferents innervating the rat glabrous skin in his master’s thesis. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Boğaziçi University, and studying on somatosensory neuroprosthetics in Tactile Research Laboratory.