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Control of Attention in the human brain studied with real-time fMRI. (360G-Wellcome-086873_Z_08_Z)

Many forms of brain damage, either acute or progressive, can compromise patients ability to move and to communicate. While much work has focused on attempts to reverse the pathological process causing such damage, rather less has sought to provide complementary approaches of circumventing the effects of damage by using brain signals from sensory or motor cortex to control neuroprosthetic devices. Moreover, investigating the neural basis of such signals has direct biological relevance for unders tanding mechanisms of perception and action. Here, I propose to use the new technique of real-time fMRI (rt-fMRI) to address both issues. My proposal thus addresses two inter-related questions of biological and practical significance. First, can attention be decoded in real time from human visual cortex to potentially provide control signals for a neural prosthesis? Second, does the level of attentionally modulated activity in human visual cortex have a causal influence on perception and awarene ss? I will combine real-time functional MRI (rt-fMRI) with on-line neurofeedback in human participants in a series of experiments that both probe the effects of attention on visual cortex and evaluate the potential utility of decoding such signals for communication and control.

£189,768

04 Dec 2008

Grant details
Amount Awarded 189768
Applicant Surname Ekanayake
Approval Committee Clinical Interview Committee
Award Date 2008-12-04T00:00:00+00:00
Financial Year 2008/09
Grant Programme: Title Research Training Fellowship
Internal ID 086873/Z/08/Z
Lead Applicant Dr Jinendra Ekanayake
Planned Dates: End Date 2013-03-31T00:00:00+00:00
Planned Dates: Start Date 2009-10-01T00:00:00+00:00
Recipient Org: Country United Kingdom
Region Greater London
Sponsor(s) Prof Jon Driver, Prof Raymond Dolan
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