Executed and imagined grasping movements can be decoded from lower dimensional representation of distributed non-motor brain areas

Maarten C. Ottenhoff*, Maxime Verwoert, Sophocles Goulis, Albert J. Colon, Louis Wagner, Simon Tousseyn, Johannes P. van Dijk, Pieter L. Kubben, Christian Herff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Working paper / PreprintPreprint


Using brain activity directly as input for assistive tool control can circumvent muscular dysfunction and increase functional independence for physically impaired people. Most invasive motor decoding studies focus on decoding neural signals from the primary motor cortex, which provides a rich but superficial and spatially local signal. Initial non-primary motor cortex decoding endeavors have used distributed recordings to demonstrate decoding of motor activity by grouping electrodes in mesoscale brain regions. While these studies show that there is relevant and decodable movement related information outside the primary motor cortex, these methods are still exclusionary to other mesoscale areas, and do not capture the full informational content of the motor system. In this work, we recorded intracranial EEG of 8 epilepsy patients, including all electrode contacts except those contacts in or adjacent to the central sulcus. We show that executed and imagined movements can be decoded from non-motor areas; combining all non-motor contacts into a lower dimensional representation provides enough information for a Riemannian decoder to reach an area under the curve of 0.83 ± 0.11. Additionally, by training our decoder on executed and testing on imagined movements, we demonstrate that
between these two conditions there exists shared distributed information in the beta frequency range. By combining relevant information from all areas into a lower dimensional representation, the decoder was
able to achieve high decoding results without information from the primary motor cortex. This representation makes the decoder more robust to perturbations, signal non-stationarities and neural tissue degradation. Our results indicate to look beyond the motor cortex and open up the way towards more robust and more versatile brain-computer interfaces.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCold Spring Harbor Laboratory - bioRxiv
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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