Bioengineering, University of Strathclyde

Bioengineering, University of Strathclyde

Study of the neurophysiology of motor control is a key part of a multidisciplinary team approach to fundamental, applied and translational research in spinal cord injury led by the Bioengineering Unit of the University of Strathclyde (Conway, Lakany). This work brings together expertise in neuroscience, rehabilitation engineering and signal processing to enable better understanding of the plastic changes that occur in sensory and motor processing within the central nervous system (CNS) in response to a spinal cord injury.

It is now recognised that recovery of function following CNS injury is largely related to re-organisation and plasticity within the surviving neuronal systems. Accordingly, a significant research effort is placed on developing methods that can reliably be used to study these changes and to understand how novel rehabilitation approaches can promote plasticity to optimise the recovery of function for individual patients.

The ongoing research programme currently makes extensive use of non-invasive measures of CNS activity based on both multichannel electromyography (EMG) and electroencephalography (EEG). Associated with our efforts to develop more sensitive and quantifiable electrophysiological measures of sensory, motor and reflex function a considerable effort has been placed on investigating the brain activations that accompany the intention to make voluntary movements.

This research is focused on the development of non-invasive Brain Computer Interfaces which will allow patients with extensive paralysis to exert control over assistive technologies via the translation of brain activity patterns into device commands.