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Our brain is the control center of voluntary motor control. At NeuroMET, we develop neuromodulation technologies and assessment methods to interface with the brain. The methods include non-invasive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and repetitive TMS (rTMS) of the motor cortex, as well as evaluation of the effects of implantable deep brain stimulation (DBS). We use motor evoked potentials (MEPs) elicited by TMS and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to assess brain excitability. We also develop brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies by recording and analyzing electrical activity from the brain through electroencephalography (EEG), electrocorticography (ECoG), and local field potentials (LFP).
The spinal cord is a bridge for transporting motor commands from the brain and the sensory feedback information from the periphery. The spinal cord also acts as the control center for reflexive motor control. At NeuroMET, we develop neuromodulation technologies to facilitate communication between the brain and the muscles. Methods include single-pulse transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation (tSCS) for assessment of the spinal reflexes, which are analogous to the H-reflex, as well as spinal cord neuromodulation approaches, including non-invasive continuous tSCS and evaluating effects of epidural spinal cord stimulation (SCS) on human motor control.
Muscles are the actuators of the human motor control system, and they are used to perform motor tasks and move the upper-limbs, lower-limbs or the trunk. At NeuroMET, we aim to understand the neuromechanics and how muscles are controlled by the brain and the spinal cord during functional tasks such as reaching or grasping (upper-limb), standing and walking (lower-limb), as well as sitting (trunk). Moreover, we develop neuroprosthetic technologies to activate the muscles through functional electrical stimulation (FES), hybrid FES-robotic devices, and BCI systems to control these neuroprosthetic technologies and neuromodulate the central nervous system to improve human motor control.
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