Corticospinal signals recorded with MEAs can predict the volitional forearm forces in rats

Yi Guo, Sahin Mesut, Richard A. Foulds, Sergei V. Adamovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We set out to investigate if volitional components in the descending tracts of the spinal cord white matter can be accessed with multi-electrode array (MEA) recording technique. Rats were trained to press a lever connected to a haptic device with force feedback to receive sugar pellets. A flexible-substrate multi-electrode array was chronically implanted into the dorsal column of the cervical spinal cord. Field potentials and multi-unit activities were recorded from the descending axons of the corticospinal tract while the rat performed a lever pressing task. Forelimb forces, recorded with the sensor attached to the lever, were reconstructed using the hand position data and the neural signals through multiple trials over three weeks. The regression coefficients found from the trial set were cross-validated on the other trials recorded on same day. Approximately 30 trials of at least 2 seconds were required for accurate model estimation. The maximum correlation coefficient between the actual and predicted force was 0.7 in the test set. Positional information and its interaction with neural signals improved the correlation coefficient by 0.1 to 0.15. These results suggest that the volitional information contained in the corticospinal tract can be extracted with multi-channel neural recordings made with parenchymal electrodes.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics


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