Publications by authors named "Marie Palma"

2 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

MRI-Compatible and Conformal Electrocorticography Grids for Translational Research.

Adv Sci (Weinh) 2021 05 8;8(9):2003761. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

Bertarelli Foundation Chair in Neuroprosthetic Technology Laboratory for Soft Bioelectronic Interfaces Institute of Microengineering Institute of Bioengineering Center for Neuroprosthetics Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) Geneva 1202 Switzerland.

Intraoperative electrocorticography (ECoG) captures neural information from the surface of the cerebral cortex during surgeries such as resections for intractable epilepsy and tumors. Current clinical ECoG grids come in evenly spaced, millimeter-sized electrodes embedded in silicone rubber. Their mechanical rigidity and fixed electrode spatial resolution are common shortcomings reported by the surgical teams. Here, advances in soft neurotechnology are leveraged to manufacture conformable subdural, thin-film ECoG grids, and evaluate their suitability for translational research. Soft grids with 0.2 to 10 mm electrode pitch and diameter are embedded in 150 µm silicone membranes. The soft grids are compatible with surgical handling and can be folded to safely interface hidden cerebral surface such as the Sylvian fold in human cadaveric models. It is found that the thin-film conductor grids do not generate diagnostic-impeding imaging artefacts (<1 mm) nor adverse local heating within a standard 3T clinical magnetic resonance imaging scanner. Next, the ability of the soft grids to record subdural neural activity in minipigs acutely and two weeks postimplantation is validated. Taken together, these results suggest a promising future alternative to current stiff electrodes and may enable the future adoption of soft ECoG grids in translational research and ultimately in clinical settings.
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May 2021

Observation and assessment of acoustic contamination of electrophysiological brain signals during speech production and sound perception.

J Neural Eng 2020 10 15;17(5):056028. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

Inserm, BrainTech Lab, U1205, Grenoble, France. University Grenoble Alpes, BrainTech Lab, U1205, Grenoble, France.

Objective: A current challenge of neurotechnologies is to develop speech brain-computer interfaces aiming at restoring communication in people unable to speak. To achieve a proof of concept of such system, neural activity of patients implanted for clinical reasons can be recorded while they speak. Using such simultaneously recorded audio and neural data, decoders can be built to predict speech features using features extracted from brain signals. A typical neural feature is the spectral power of field potentials in the high-gamma frequency band, which happens to overlap the frequency range of speech acoustic signals, especially the fundamental frequency of the voice. Here, we analyzed human electrocorticographic and intracortical recordings during speech production and perception as well as a rat microelectrocorticographic recording during sound perception. We observed that several datasets, recorded with different recording setups, contained spectrotemporal features highly correlated with those of the sound produced by or delivered to the participants, especially within the high-gamma band and above, strongly suggesting a contamination of electrophysiological recordings by the sound signal. This study investigated the presence of acoustic contamination and its possible source.

Approach: We developed analysis methods and a statistical criterion to objectively assess the presence or absence of contamination-specific correlations, which we used to screen several datasets from five centers worldwide.

Main Results: Not all but several datasets, recorded in a variety of conditions, showed significant evidence of acoustic contamination. Three out of five centers were concerned by the phenomenon. In a recording showing high contamination, the use of high-gamma band features dramatically facilitated the performance of linear decoding of acoustic speech features, while such improvement was very limited for another recording showing no significant contamination. Further analysis and in vitro replication suggest that the contamination is caused by the mechanical action of the sound waves onto the cables and connectors along the recording chain, transforming sound vibrations into an undesired electrical noise affecting the biopotential measurements.

Significance: Although this study does not per se question the presence of speech-relevant physiological information in the high-gamma range and above (multiunit activity), it alerts on the fact that acoustic contamination of neural signals should be proofed and eliminated before investigating the cortical dynamics of these processes. To this end, we make available a toolbox implementing the proposed statistical approach to quickly assess the extent of contamination in an electrophysiological recording (
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October 2020