Evaluating the Plausibility of using Brain-to-Brain Communication to Create Neuromuscular Connection for Prosthetic Usage
When prosthetics are developed, they are created for traumatic amputees to restore quality of life so they can live as they did before their limb loss. However, for an individual with congenital amputation — an underdeveloped or nonexistent limb from birth — there are not as many options due to many prosthetics relying on the user’s prior experience with the missing limb. The purpose of this project is to investigate the possibility of using electroencephalogram (EEG) signals to control a prosthetic hand. Based on this knowledge, a prosthetic will be designed for an individual with a congenital amputation. Use of this device may be difficult for these individuals compared to those with trauma-based amputations because they lack experience with the limb in question. This can result in more difficulty during the rehabilitation process due to the neurological disconnect. This can be counteracted by utilizing brain-to-brain communication. By sending the neurophysiological signals of an able-bodied person to the individual with the amputation they can teach the amputee’s brain these new motor skills. First, the biosignals responsible for the motor functions of the specific limb must be identified and analyzed. By determining if the signals for moving one limb are identical to the signals for the other limb, they can be sent via brain-to-brain communication to the patient with the missing limb. Sharing these signals will help them learn how to use the prosthetic, thus making rehabilitation easier. The hypothesis is that using the EEG signals communicated to the congenital amputee via brain-to-brain communication will make the neurological connections needed to make moving the prosthetic easier. The end device would be equivalent to a myoelectric prosthetic controlled by Phantom Limb Syndrome (PLS), except it will utilize learned EEG signals instead of depending solely on PLS.
Phantom Limb Syndrome, Neuroprosthetics, Congenital Amputation