Feel Your Reach

Non-invasive decoding of cortical patterns induced by goal directed movement intentions and artificial sensory feedback in humans

Feel Your Reach: In Europe estimated 300.000 people are suffering from a spinal cord injury (SCI) with 11.000 new injuries per year. The consequences of spinal cord injury are tremendous for these individuals. The loss of motor functions especially of the arm and grasping function – 40% are tetraplegics – leads to a life-long dependency on care givers and therefore to a dramatic decrease in quality of life in these often young individuals. With the help of neuroprostheses, grasp and elbow function can be substantially improved. However, remaining body movements often do not provide enough degrees of freedom to control the neuroprosthesis.
The ideal solution for voluntary control of an upper extremity neuroprosthesis would be to directly record motor commands from the corresponding cortical areas and convert them into control signals. This would realize a technical bypass around the interrupted nerve fiber tracts in the spinal cord.
A Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) transform mentally induced changes of brain signals into control signals and serve as an alternative human-machine interface. We showed first results in EEG-based control of a neuroprosthesis in several persons with SCI in the last decade, however, the control is still unnatural and cumbersome.
The objective of FEEL YOUR REACH is to develop a novel control framework that incorporates goal directed movement intention, movement decoding, error processing, processing of sensory feedback to allow a more natural control of a neuroprosthesis. To achieve this aim a goal directed movement decoder will be realized, and continuous error potential decoding will be included. Both will be finally joined together with an artificial kinesthetic sensory feedback display attached to the user. We hypothesize that with these mechanisms a user will be able to naturally control an neuroprosthesis with his/her mind only.

The Team

Team Members
Gernot R. Müller-Putz, Andreea I. Sburlea, Joana Pereira, Reinmar Kobler, Catarina Lopes Dias, Lea Hehenberger

Internships hosted by FYR
Inês Almeida, Liza Kolesnichenko, Michele Bevilacqua, Valeria Mondini, Nicola Butturini

Scientific Dissemination

Journal Papers

2018
Exploring representations of human grasping in neural, muscle and kinematic signals. / Sburlea, Andreea I; Müller-Putz, Gernot R.
 In: Scientific reports, Vol. 8, No. 1, 16669, 12.11.2018.

Artifacts in EEG of simultaneous EEG-fMRI: Pulse artifact remainders in the gradient artifact template are a source of artifact residuals after average artifact subtraction. / Steyrl, David; Müller-Putz, Gernot.
 In: Journal of neural engineering, 29.10.2018.

EEG patterns of self-paced movement imaginations towards externally-cued and internally-selected targets. / Pereira, Joana; Sburlea, Andreea Ioana; Müller-Putz, Gernot.
 In: Scientific reports, Vol. 8, 13394 , 06.09.2018.

Factors that affect error potentials during a grasping task : toward a hybrid natural movement decoding BCI. / Omedes, Jason; Schwarz, Andreas; Müller-Putz, Gernot R; Montesano, Luis.
 In: Journal of neural engineering, Vol. 15, No. 4, 046023, 01.05.2018.

Decoding natural reach-and-grasp actions from human EEG. / Schwarz, Andreas; Ofner, Patrick; Pereira, Joana; Sburlea, Andreea Ioana; Müller-Putz, Gernot.
 In: Journal of neural engineering, Vol. 15, No. 1, 016005, 15.02.2018.

Masked and unmasked error-related potentials during continuous control and feedback. / Lopes Dias, Maria Catarina; Sburlea, Andreea Ioana; Müller-Putz, Gernot.
 In: Journal of neural engineering, Vol. 15, No. 3, 2018.

2017
Online Reduction of Artifacts in EEG of Simultaneous EEG-fMRI Using Reference Layer Adaptive Filtering (RLAF). / Steyrl, David; Krausz, Gunther; Koschutnig, Karl; Edlinger, Günter; Müller-Putz, Gernot R.
 In: Brain topography, 09.11.2017.

Upper limb movements can be decoded from the time-domain of low-frequency EEG. / Ofner, Patrick; Schwarz, Andreas; Pereira, Joana; Müller-Putz, Gernot R.
 In: PLoS ONE, Vol. 12, No. 8, 10.08.2017, p. e0182578.

EEG neural correlates of goal-directed movement intention. / Pereira, Joana; Ofner, Patrick; Schwarz, Andreas; Sburlea, Andreea Ioana; Müller-Putz, Gernot.
 In: NeuroImage, Vol. 149, 01.04.2017, p. 129–140.

Conference Contributions

2018
Towards non-invasive Brain-Computer Interfaces for hand/arm control in users with spinal cord injury. / Müller-Putz, Gernot; Pereira, Joana; Ofner, Patrick; Schwarz, Andreas; Lopes Dias, Maria Catarina; Kobler, Reinmar; Hehenberger, Lea; Pinegger, Andreas; Sburlea, Andreea Ioana.
 The 6th International Winter Conference on Brain-Computer Interface. 2018. p. 65-68.

2017
A comparison of ocular artifact removal methods for block design based electroencephalography experiments. / Kobler, Reinmar; Sburlea, Andreea Ioana; Müller-Putz, Gernot.
 Proceedings of the 7th Graz Brain-Computer Interface Conference 2017: From Vision to Reality. ed. / Gernot Müller-Putz; David Steyrl; Selina Wrissnegger; Reinhold Scherer. Graz : Verlag der Technischen Universität Graz, 2017. p. 236-241 44.

Movement Decoding from EEG: Target or Direction? / Müller-Putz, Gernot; Peicha, Lukas; Ofner, Patrick.
 Proceedings of the 7th Graz Brain-Computer Interface Conference 2017. Verlag der Technischen Universität Graz, 2017. p. 344-348.

Error-related potentials with masked and unmasked onset during continuous control and feedback. / Lopes Dias, Maria Catarina; Sburlea, Andreea Ioana; Müller-Putz, Gernot.
 7th Graz Brain-Computer Interface Conference 2017. 2017.

Event-Related Potentials in Externally and Internally-Driven Target Selection: a preliminary study. / Pereira, Joana; Sburlea, Andreea Ioana; Müller-Putz, Gernot.
 Proceedings of the 7th Graz Brain-Computer Interface Conference 2017 From Vision to Reality. Graz : Verlag der Technischen Universität Graz, 2017. p. 400-405.

Towards non-invasive EEG-based arm/handcontrol in users with spinal cord injury. / Müller-Putz, Gernot; Ofner, Patrick; Schwarz, Andreas; Pereira, Joana; Pinegger, Andreas; Lopes Dias, Maria Catarina; Hehenberger, Lea; Kobler, Reinmar; Sburlea, Andreea Ioana.
 5th International Winter Conference on Brain-Computer Interfaces. 2017.

2016
Discriminating goal-directed from non-goal-directed movements for BCI control. / Pereira, Joana; Ofner, Patrick; Schwarz, Andreas; Müller-Putz, Gernot.
 Proceedings of the 6th International Brain-Computer Interface Meeting. ed. / Gernot R. Müller-Putz ; Jane E. Huggins; David Steyrl. Verlag der Technischen Universität Graz, 2016. p. 67.

Movements of the same upper limb can be classified from low-frequency time-domain EEG signals. / Ofner, Patrick; Schwarz, Andreas; Pereira, Joana; Müller-Putz, Gernot.
 Proceedings of the Sixth International Brain-Computer Interface Meeting: BCI Past, Present, and Future. Verlag der Technischen Universität Graz, 2016. p. 69.

Goal-Directed or Aimless? EEG Differences during the Preparation of a Reach-and-Touch Task. / Pereira, Joana; Ofner, Patrick; Müller-Putz, Gernot.
 37th Annual International Conference of the IEEE. ., 2015. p. 1488-1491.

Project Overview
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The project was granted by the European Research Council (ERC), ERC Consolidator Grant to Prof.Dr. Gernot Müller-Putz.

Project runtime
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2016-2021