We aim to understand how the brain controls complex natural motion and use this understanding to build new prosthetic devices for people with motor impairment. Markerless motion capture and wireless neural recording will provide data about natural motion that leads to new insights into the neural code.

Our research addresses:
  • Statistical models of motor cortical activity.
  • Bayesian population decoding of reaching and grasping.
  • Markerless motion capture of animals.
  • Robust decoding for human neural motor prostheses.
  • Effect of context on neural representations of grasping.


Modernizing Muybridge: From 3D models of the body to decoding the brain

Linking Objects to Actions: Encoding of Target Object and Grasping Strategy in Primate Ventral Premotor Cortex
Vargas-Irwin, C.E., Franquemont, L., Black, M.J. and Donoghue, J.P.
Journal of Neuroscience, 35(30):10888-10897, July 2015.
Spike train SIMilarity Space (SSIMS): A framework for single neuron and ensemble data analysis
Vargas-Irwin, C.E., Brandman, D.M., Zimmermann, J.B., Donoghue, J.P. and Black, M.J.
Neural Computation, 27(1):1-31, January 2015.
A freely-moving monkey treadmill model
Foster, J., Nuyujukian, P., Freifeld, O., Gao, H., Walker, R., Ryu, S., Meng, T., Murmann, B., Black, M. and Shenoy, K.
J. of Neural Engineering, 11(4):046020, 2014.
A framework for relating neural activity to freely moving behavior
Foster, J.D., Nuyujukian, P., Freifeld, O., Ryu, S., Black, M.J. and Shenoy, K.V.
In 34th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC’12), IEEE, pages 2736 -2739 , San Diego. August 2012.
Combining wireless neural recording and video capture for the analysis of natural gait
Foster, J., Freifeld, O., Nuyujukian, P., Ryu, S., Black, M.J. and Shenoy, K.
In Proc. 5th Int. IEEE EMBS Conf. on Neural Engineering, IEEE, pages 613-616, 2011.
Neural control of cursor trajectory and click by a human with tetraplegia 1000 days after implant of an intracortical microelectrode array
(J. Neural Engineering Highlights of 2011 Collection. JNE top 10 cited papers of 2010-2011.)
Simeral, J.D., Kim, S.-P., Black, M.J., Donoghue, J.P. and Hochberg, L.R.
J. of Neural Engineering, 8(2):025027, 2011.
Point-and-Click Cursor Control With an Intracortical Neural Interface System by Humans With Tetraplegia
Kim, S.-P., Simeral, J.D., Hochberg, L.R., Donoghue, J.P., Friehs, G.M. and Black, M.J.
IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 19(2):193-203, April 2011.
Decoding complete reach and grasp actions from local primary motor cortex populations
(Featured in Nature’s Research Highlights (Nature, Vol 466, 29 July 2010))
Vargas-Irwin, C.E., Shakhnarovich, G., Yadollahpour, P., Mislow, J.M.K., Black, M.J. and Donoghue, J.P.
J. of Neuroscience, 39(29):9659-9669, July 2010.
Computer cursor control by motor cortical signals in humans with tetraplegia
Kim, S.-P., Simeral, J.D., Hochberg, L.R., Donoghue, J.P. and Black, M.J.
In 7th Asian Control Conference, ASCC09, pages 988-993, Hong Kong, China. August 2009.
Neural control of computer cursor velocity by decoding motor cortical spiking activity in humans with tetraplegia
(J. Neural Engineering Highlights of 2008 Collection)
Kim, S.-P., Simeral, J., Hochberg, J.P. and Black, M.J.
J. Neural Engineering, 2008.
Probabilistically modeling and decoding neural population activity in motor cortex
Black, M.J. and Donoghue, J.P.
In Toward Brain-Computer Interfacing, Dornhege, G., del R. Millan, J., Hinterberger, T., McFarland, D. and Muller, K.-R., Editors, pages 147-159, MIT Press, London, 2007.
Multi-state decoding of point-and-click control signals from motor cortical activity in a human with tetraplegia
Kim, S.-P., Simeral, J., Hochberg, L., Donoghue, J.P., Friehs, G. and Black, M.J.
In The 3rd International IEEE EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering, pages 486-489, May 2007.
Neuromotor prosthesis development
Donoghue, J.P., Hochberg, L.R., Nurmikko, A.V., Black, M.J., Simeral, J.D. and Friehs, G.
Medicine & Health Rhode Island, 90(1):12-15, January 2007.
Assistive technology and robotic control using MI ensemble-based neural interface systems in humans with tetraplegia
Donoghue, J.P., Nurmikko, A., Black, J. and Hochberg, L.
Journal of Physiology, Special Issue on Brain Computer Interfaces, 2007.
Statistical analysis of the non-stationarity of neural population codes
Kim, S.-P., Wood, F., Fellows, M., Donoghue, J.P. and Black, M.J.
In BioRob 2006, The first IEEE / RAS-EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, pages 295-299, Pisa, Italy. February 2006.
Nonlinear physically-based models for decoding motor-cortical population activity
Shakhnarovich, G., Kim, S.-P. and Black, M.J.
In Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 19, NIPS-2006, MIT Press, pages 1257-1264, 2006.