This paper presents the concept and initial results of a novel approach for robot assisted sensorimotor training in stroke rehabilitation. It is based on a brain-body-robot interface (B 2RI), combining both neural and physiological recordings, that detects the intention to perform a motor task. By directly including the injured brain into the therapy, we ultimately aim at providing a new method for severely impaired patients to engage in active movement therapy. In the present study, seven healthy subjects performed an isometric finger pinching task while functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) signals from motor cortical areas and biosignals were recorded simultaneously. Results showed an insignificant increase in the blood pressure during the preparation period prior to motor execution. During the execution period, significant changes in oxy-and deoxyhemoglobin were found in the primary motor cortex, accompanied by an increase in blood pressure, respiration rate and galvanic skin response (GSR). Cortical measurements of premotor areas and heart rate revealed significant changes at the subject level with large inter-subject variability. The results presented here will serve as priors for the design of further studies to test the efficacy of the concept with stroke patients, and the found effects will provide a basis for the development of a classifier for a future B 2RI. © 2011 IEEE.
Towards a BCI for sensorimotor training: Initial results from simultaneous fNIRS and biosignal recordings
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