Papers and Publications, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

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    Time-Dependent Increase in Network Response to Stimulation
    (Public Library of Science, 2015-11-06) Hamilton, Franz; Graham, Robert; Luu, Lydia; Peixoto, Nathalia
    In vitro neuronal cultures have become a popular method with which to probe network-level neuronal dynamics and phenomena in controlled laboratory settings. One of the key dynamics of interest in these in vitro studies has been the extent to which cultured networks display properties indicative of learning. Here we demonstrate the effects of a high frequency electrical stimulation signal in training cultured networks of cortical neurons. Networks receiving this training signal displayed a time-dependent increase in the response to a low frequency probing stimulation, particularly in the time window of 20–50 ms after stimulation. This increase was found to be statistically significant as compared to control networks that did not receive training. The timing of this increase suggests potentiation of synaptic mechanisms. To further investigate this possibility, we leveraged the powerful Cox statistical connectivity method as previously investigated by our group. This method was used to identify and track changes in network connectivity strength.
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    A Novel Application of Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Imaging
    (Journal of Visualized Experiments, 2013-09) Eranki, Avinash; Cortes, Nelson; Ferenček3, Zrinka Gregurić; Siddhartha, Sikdar
    Ultrasound is an attractive modality for imaging muscle and tendon motion during dynamic tasks and can provide a complementary methodological approach for biomechanical studies in a clinical or laboratory setting. Towards this goal, methods for quantification of muscle kinematics from ultrasound imagery are being developed based on image processing. The temporal resolution of these methods is typically not sufficient for highly dynamic tasks, such as drop-landing. We propose a new approach that utilizes a Doppler method for quantifying muscle kinematics. We have developed a novel vector tissue Doppler imaging (vTDI) technique that can be used to measure musculoskeletal contraction velocity, strain and strain rate with sub-millisecond temporal resolution during dynamic activities using ultrasound. The goal of this preliminary study was to investigate the repeatability and potential applicability of the vTDI technique in measuring musculoskeletal velocities during a drop-landing task, in healthy subjects. The vTDI measurements can be performed concurrently with other biomechanical techniques, such as 3D motion capture for joint kinematics and kinetics, electromyography for timing of muscle activation and force plates for ground reaction force. Integration of these complementary techniques could lead to a better understanding of dynamic muscle function and dysfunction underlying the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of musculoskeletal disorders.