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Characterization of Neural Activity Recorded from the Descending Tracts of the Rat Spinal Cord

By Abhishek Prasad and Mesut Sahin


A multi-electrode array (MEA) was implanted in the dorsolateral funiculus of the cervical spinal cord to record descending information during behavior in freely moving rats. Neural signals were characterized in terms of frequency and information content. Frequency analysis revealed components both at the range of local field potentials and multi-unit activity. Coherence between channels decreased steadily with inter-contact distance and frequency suggesting greater spatial selectivity for multi-unit activity compared to local field potentials. Principal component analysis (PCA) extracted multiple channels of neural activity with patterns that correlated to the behavior, indicating multiple dimensionality of the signals. Two different behaviors involving the forelimbs, face cleaning and food reaching, generated neural signals through distinctly different combination of neural channels, which suggested that these two behaviors could readily be differentiated from recordings. This preliminary data demonstrated that descending spinal cord signals recorded with MEAs can be used to extract multiple channels of command control information and potentially be utilized as a means of communication in high level spinal cord injury subjects

Topics: Neuroscience
Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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