Electrocorticogram encoding of upper extremity movement duration

Po T. Wang, Christine E. King, Colin M. McCrimmon, Susan J. Shaw, David E. Millett, Charles Y. Liu, Luis A. Chui, Zoran Nenadic, An H. Do

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electrocorticogram (ECoG) is a promising long-term signal acquisition platform for brain-computer interface (BCI) systems such as upper extremity prostheses. Several studies have demonstrated decoding of arm and finger trajectories from ECoG high-gamma band (80-160 Hz) signals. In this study, we systematically vary the velocity of three elementary movement types (pincer grasp, elbow and shoulder flexion/extension) to test whether the high-gamma band encodes for the entirety of the movements, or merely the movement onset. To this end, linear regression models were created for the durations and amplitudes of high-gamma power bursts and velocity deflections. One subject with 8×8 high-density ECoG grid (4 mm center-to-center electrode spacing) participated in the experiment. The results of the regression models indicated that the power burst durations varied directly with the movement durations (e.g. R(2)=0.71 and slope=1.0 s/s for elbow). The persistence of power bursts for the duration of the movement suggests that the primary motor cortex (M1) is likely active for the entire duration of a movement, instead of providing a marker for the movement onset. On the other hand, the amplitudes were less co-varied. Furthermore, the electrodes of maximum R(2) conformed to somatotopic arrangement of the brain. Also, electrodes responsible for flexion and extension movements could be resolved on the high-density grid. In summary, these findings suggest that M1 may be directly responsible for activating the individual muscle motor units, and future BCI may be able to utilize them for better control of prostheses.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics


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