About this Research Topic
Millions of people worldwide are affected by neurological disorders which disrupt connections within the brain and between brain and body causing impairments of primary functions and paralysis. Such a number is likely to increase in the next years and current assistive technology is limited. The response to such disabilities, offered by the neuroscience community, is given by Brain-Machine Interfaces (BMIs) and Neuroprostheses.
Such a field of research is highly multidisciplinary, since it involves very different and disperse scientific communities, making it fundamental to create connections and to join research efforts. Indeed, to design neuroprosthetic devices, six main research topics are involved: interfacing of neural systems at different levels of architectural complexity (from in vitro neuronal ensembles up to the human brain), bio-artificial interfaces for stimulation and recording, innovative signal processing tools for coding and decoding of neural activity, biomimetic artificial neural networks and neural network modeling. In order to develop functional communication with the nervous system and create a new generation of neuroprostheses, studying closed-loop systems is mandatory. The bi-directional communication between living neurons and artificial devices is the main final goal of those studies. However, closed-loop systems are still rare in the literature, mostly due to the required multidisciplinary effort. Therefore through this research topic, we intend to encourage an active discussion among neurobiologists, electrophysiologists, bioengineers, computational neuroscientists and neuromorphic engineers.
The overall goal of this research topic is to present the results and stimulate/promote the discussion about the design of a novel generation of neuroprostheses aimed at recovering impaired/damaged neural networks. In this Research Topic, we welcome submissions highlighting the latest results in neuroprosthetics but also covering the six major topics introduced above. Review articles about closed-loop systems and neuroprostheses are strongly encouraged. Indeed, the intrinsic multidisciplinary nature of the proposed topic, from which we expect to receive contributions from different specialists, will help the scientific community to converge to new ideas and solutions to treat invalidating neuronal disabilities.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.