Making brain-machine interfaces robust to future neural variability

19 Oct 2016  ·  David Sussillo, Sergey D. Stavisky, Jonathan C. Kao, Stephen I. Ryu, Krishna V. Shenoy ·

A major hurdle to clinical translation of brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) is that current decoders, which are trained from a small quantity of recent data, become ineffective when neural recording conditions subsequently change. We tested whether a decoder could be made more robust to future neural variability by training it to handle a variety of recording conditions sampled from months of previously collected data as well as synthetic training data perturbations. We developed a new multiplicative recurrent neural network BMI decoder that successfully learned a large variety of neural-to- kinematic mappings and became more robust with larger training datasets. When tested with a non-human primate preclinical BMI model, this decoder was robust under conditions that disabled a state-of-the-art Kalman filter based decoder. These results validate a new BMI strategy in which accumulated data history is effectively harnessed, and may facilitate reliable daily BMI use by reducing decoder retraining downtime.

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