New technologies have provided scientists with the ability to record dozens to 200 or more neurons simultaneously. Beyond contributing to the development of technologies for the restoration of movement and communication in persons with paralysis or limb loss, pilot clinical trials of the BrainGate2 system also provide an extraordinary and rare opportunity to further our understanding of how the human brain works. Recent scientific work has included studying how ensembles of single neurons represent and process information in the human motor cortex and we are also investigating how neuronal activities are modulated with general neural states (e.g. attention, sleep, volition, etc.). These studies pose exciting theoretical and statistical challenges. To meet these challenges, our research also focuses on the development of new neurostatistical methodologies and algorithms that seek to uncover meaningful spatiotemporal patterns of neural activity, especially their relationship to intended action, behavioral and cognitive states, and disease conditions.
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