About this Research Topic

Manuscript Submission Deadline 18 May 2022
Manuscript Extension Submission Deadline 28 June 2022

Disorders and trauma of the nervous system, either at the central or peripheral level, have a profound disabling effects on patients thus severely affecting their quality of life. Restoring the physiological function of the dysfunctional nervous system is then a primary mission for the scientific and medical ...

Disorders and trauma of the nervous system, either at the central or peripheral level, have a profound disabling effects on patients thus severely affecting their quality of life. Restoring the physiological function of the dysfunctional nervous system is then a primary mission for the scientific and medical community.
As pharmacological treatment is not always suitable to restore damaged or dysfunctional neuronal pathways, recent studies are exploring advanced neuromodulatory and electroceutical approaches which can represent a promising alternative to standard therapies. In particular, major progresses in the fields of bioelectronics and neural engineering have led to the development of efficient neuroprostheses, i.e., devices or systems having an interface with the nervous system and supplementing or substituting functionality in the patient's body. In order to develop a successful neuroprosthesis, it is essential to understand how to interface it with the nervous system, both in terms of hardware (electrodes, sensors) and in terms of being able to decode the state of the system from acquired signal and to design the most efficient stimulation to reach the desired outcome. This latter aspect, i.e., the ability to ‘read’ and/or ‘write’ the neural code is the subject of this Research Topic.
Several techniques are currently available for reading and writing the neural activity, depending on the level of invasiveness of the recording/stimulation device: from EEG to ECoG up to intracortical electrodes to read the neural activity in the central nervous system; from EMG to intraneural electrodes to read the activity in the peripheral nervous system; from Non Invasive Brain Stimulation (NIBS) to Intracortical Microstimulation for central stimulation; intramuscular and intrafascicular electrodes for peripheral stimulation. Moreover, other non-electrode based techniques, as optogenetics and ultrasound stimulation, are already showing interesting potential.
The aim of this Research Topic is to bring the attention of the scientific community to all the issues related to determine ‘what’ is useful to read and ‘what’ is useful to write in the nervous system, instead of ‘how’ to read and ‘how’ to write, with a specific focus on the field of neuroprosthetics. Significant advances have been done in terms of number of electrodes, type of electrodes and materials used, but there is a lack of consensus on what are the features of the neural signals allowing for a better decoding or coding of information which can, in turn, improve the functionality of a neuroprosthetic device.
Topics covered belong but are not limited to the following list:
• Decoding of motor intentions and design of somatosensory or proprioceptive feedback for limb neuroprostheses.
• Detection of patterns of interest at different spatial and temporal scales (e.g. spike, burst, LFP) for detecting pathological states.
• Stimulation protocols for restoring functional behavior of the autonomic nervous system
• Design of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) patterns for motor and cognitive disorders and decoding of subject state (invasively or non-invasively) for adaptive DBS control
• Design of ICMS strategies for promoting plasticity and improving behavioral outcome.
• Quantifying and predicting a device failure [e.g. how the algorithm performances impact the functionality of a neuroprosthesis? What is the effect on the neuroprosthesis if the algorithm fails? How to define the failure of an algorithm?].

Type of manuscripts: Original Research, Systematic Review, Review (and mini Review), Perspective, Clinical Trial, Case Report, Brief Research Report.

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