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Caltech / USC / Rancho Los Amigos Neuroprosthetics

Here is a web page that contains images, videos, and animations for the neuroprosthetics project.  You have permission to use the images on this page for news and scientific purposes only, and with proper accreditation.

A part of the brain that controls intuitive movement planning could be key to improving motor control in paralyzed patients with prosthetics.

Caltech

Keck Medicine of USC 

  Rancho Los Amigos

Videos & Animation


Next Generation of Neuroprosthetics: Science Explained
Includes animation and narrative


Next Generation of Neuroprosthetics: Erik's Story
(Credit: Keck Medicine of USC)


Drinking a Beverage for the First Time
Brain-machine cooperation. Sorto wanted to be able to drink a beverage at his own pace. Here he cooperates with a computer by issuing stop and go brain signals for a sequence of actions programmed by the computer system. Populations of neurons selective for actions can be used to make these state transitions. This demonstrates how higher-level cognitive signals can interface with lower level machine control signals. Collaborators at John Hopkins University developed the robotic arm. (Credit: Caltech)


Surgery & Rehab B-roll
Seven-minute B-roll package including day of surgery, moving robotic arm for first time, first drink and rehabilitation. (Credit: Keck Medicine of USC)

B-roll: Interviews


Erik G. Sorto
- patient

Dr. Richard Andersen, Caltech
- principal investigator

Dr. Charles Y. Liu, Keck USC
- lead surgeon
Dr. Christianne Heck, Keck USC
- neurologist

Dr. Mindy Aisen, Rancho Los Amigos
- rehabilitation team lead

Still Images

Click on any image to view/download the full-size version. All are JPG format.

Using a brain-controlled robotic arm to help himself to a drink, Erik Sorto says, "This study has been very meaningful to me. As much as the project needed me, I needed the project. The project has made a huge difference in my life. It gives me great pleasure to be part of the solution for improving paralyzed patients' lives." (Credit: Spencer Kellis and Christian Klaes, Caltech)

The surgical team at Keck Medicine of USC, working in close collaboration with Caltech and Rancho Los Amigo National Rehabilitation Center, performed the unprecedented neuroprosthetic implant in a five-hour surgery on April 17, 2013. Here the patient, Erik Sorto, is being prepped.
(Credit: Spencer Kellis, Caltech)

Example of an fMRI scan used for targeting the device implantation location. (Credit: Caltech)

(L to R): Dr. Richard Andersen, the James G. Boswell Professor of Neuroscience at Caltech; Dr. Charles Y. Liu, professor of neurological surgery, neurology, and biomedical engineering at USC; and patient, Erik G. Sorto, discusses the quick results from the implant: "I was surprised at how easy it was," Sorto says. "I remember just having this out-of-body experience, and I wanted to just run around and high-five everybody." (Credit: Lance Hayashida, Caltech)

The clinical study, advancing neuroprosthetics to enable paralyzed patients to perform practical tasks and regain some of their independence, was a collaboration of Caltech, Keck Medicine of USC and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center. Seated: Dr. Mindy Aisen, chief medical officer at Rancho Los Amigos and patient Erik Sorto. Standing: Dr. Christianne Heck, associate professor of neurology at USC and codirector of the USC Neurorestoration Center; Dr. Richard Andersen, the James G. Boswell Professor of Neuroscience at Caltech; Dr. Charles Y. Liu, professor of neurological surgery, neurology, and biomedical engineering at USC. (Credit: Lance Hayashida, Caltech)

Dr. Charles Y. Liu, professor of neurological surgery, neurology, and biomedical engineering at USC, shares a laugh with patient Erik Sorto. Liu is the director for the USC Neurorestoration Center, and was the lead surgeon for the team that implanted a pair of small electrode arrays in two parts of the posterior parietal context (PPC) of Sorto’s brain. Each array contains 96 active electrodes that, in turn, each record the activity of single neurons in the PPC. Liu has focused his career on taking care of patients with neurological injuries and diseases. Liu says, “It is clear that completely new approaches are necessary to restore function to paralyzed patients. Direct brain control of robots and computers has the potential to dramatically change the lives of many people.” (Credit: Lance Hayashida, Caltech)

The computer shows the activity of a single neuron in the brain being modulated by the subject's thoughts. (Credit: Caltech)

A first handshake after being paralyzed for 10 years–the first time since his injury that Sorto could move a limb and reach out to someone. (Credit: Caltech, Keck Medicine of USC, Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center)

Sharing a beer, without help. Sorto says, "I joke around with the guys that I want to be able to drink my own beer–to be able to take a drink at my own pace, when I want to take a sip out of my beer and to not have to ask somebody to give it to me." (Credit: Caltech, Keck Medicine of USC, Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center)

Making a smoothie. Although he was able to immediately move the robot arm with his thoughts, after weeks of imagining, Sorto refined his control of the arm. Now he is able to execute advanced tasks with his mind, such as controlling a blender. (Credit: Spencer Kellis, Caltech)

(L to R) Dr. Charles Y. Liu, professor of neurological surgery, neurology, and biomedical engineering at USC, who led the surgery; Dr. Richard Andersen, the James G. Boswell Professor of Neuroscience at Caltech, the principal investigator; and Dr. Brian Lee, Keck Medicine of USC surgeon, who assisted in the surgery. (Credit: Spencer Kellis, Caltech)

Principal investigator, Dr. Richard Andersen, the James G. Boswell Professor of Neuroscience at Caltech shares a happy moment with patient Erik Sorto. Andersen shares, "For me, the most exciting moment of the trial was when Erik first moved the robotic limb with his thoughts. He had been paralyzed for over 10 years, and this was the first time since his injury that he could move a limb and reach out to someone. It was a thrilling moment for all of us." (Credit: Lance Hayashida, Caltech)

News Story

The news story "Controlling a Robotic Arm with a Patient's Intentions" is available from the main Caltech website.

 

Additional Resources

Caltech

Keck Medicine of USC

Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center