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Recent studies have demonstrated that monkeys and humans can use signals from the brain to guide computer cursors. Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) may one day assist patients suffering from neurological injury or disease, but relatively low system performance remains a major obstacle. In fact, the speed and accuracy with which keys can be selected using(More)
Neural prostheses translate neural activity from the brain into control signals for guiding prosthetic devices, such as computer cursors and robotic limbs, and thus offer individuals with disabilities greater interaction with the world. However, relatively low performance remains a critical barrier to successful clinical translation; current neural(More)
We present experiments and analyses designed to test the idea that firing rates in premotor cortex become optimized during motor preparation, approaching their ideal values over time. We measured the across-trial variability of neural responses in dorsal premotor cortex of three monkeys performing a delayed-reach task. Such variability was initially high,(More)
We consider the problem of extracting smooth, low-dimensional neural trajectories that summarize the activity recorded simultaneously from many neurons on individual experimental trials. Beyond the benefit of visualizing the high-dimensional, noisy spiking activity in a compact form, such trajectories can offer insight into the dynamics of the neural(More)
Neural responses are typically characterized by computing the mean firing rate, but response variability can exist across trials. Many studies have examined the effect of a stimulus on the mean response, but few have examined the effect on response variability. We measured neural variability in 13 extracellularly recorded datasets and one intracellularly(More)
Some movements that animals and humans make are highly stereotyped, repeated with little variation. The patterns of neural activity associated with repeats of a movement may be highly similar, or the same movement may arise from different patterns of neural activity, if the brain exploits redundancies in the neural projections to muscles. We examined the(More)
Probabilistic decoding techniques have been used successfully to infer time-evolving physical state, such as arm trajectory or the path of a foraging rat, from neural data. A vital element of such decoders is the trajectory model, expressing knowledge about the statistical regularities of the movements. Unfortunately, trajectory models that both 1)(More)
Neurons in the neocortex code and compute as part of a locally interconnected population. Large-scale multi-electrode recording makes it possible to access these population processes empirically by fitting statistical models to unaveraged data. What statistical structure best describes the concurrent spiking of cells within a local network? We argue that in(More)
Spiking activity from neurophysiological experiments often exhibits dynamics beyond that driven by external stimulation, presumably reflecting the extensive recurrence of neural circuitry. Characterizing these dynamics may reveal important features of neural computation, particularly during internally-driven cognitive operations. For example, the activity(More)
Internal models have been proposed to explain the brain's ability to compensate for sensory feedback delays by predicting the sensory consequences of movement commands. Single-neuron studies in the oculomotor and vestibulo-ocular systems have provided evidence of internal models, as have behavioral studies in the skeletomotor system. Here, we present(More)