Neuroprosthetics and Modeling of Neurons is the next generation thought to make the human life more better gathering the knowledge of Neuroscience, Computing. The term Neuroprosthetics lexically refers to the neural prostheses those interfaces between the nervous system and the connection to an electronic component to clinical applications and medical research. Two important related articles are Cyborg and DNA Computing and Modeling of Neurons.
Preface to Neuroprosthetics and Modeling of Neurons
From the article DNA Computing and Modeling of Neurons , you have understood that, the people who will create the things, its better to be a doctor with additional knowledge on programming and computing. The people who actually interested are mostly from US, India, Germany and Japan. It is from my personal experience. The number is very few. The major problem is, that is quite horrible – these people codes working hours and hours, and few multinational company uses peoples from pure engineering field to manufacture products and sell these Neuroprosthetics at very high price. How we solve it, that I have long term plans but for now it is a pain and burden to the patients.
The neuroscience today comprise addition to biological, medical and psychological, philosophical, and especially now, more and more (information) technological issues. Therapeutically used Neuroprosthetics (sensory neural prosthesis) is a cochlear implant.
Reintroduction of thrown away approaches to Neuroprosthetics
That the production of visual or auditory percepts by stimulating cortical tissue with electrical current is possible in principle, however, was shown in a series of human experiments (Brindley 1968, Dobelle 1974 & 1976, Bak 1990, Schmidt 1996). The assumption that it is possible through multi-channel implants simulate the necessary complexity of cortical activity patterns in order to create objects was actually commented on about 50 years ago by Krieg in 1953. Following this model of Neuroprosthetics, she worked for the simultaneous electrical stimulation of many places of the visual cortex as a visual prosthesis for the blind.
Ultimately, the traditional coding approach for sensory cortical neural prostheses were considered as failed projects. The failure was not from technical or theoretical approach. There were other reasons which we will evoke later in proper place and time.
Currently, Invasive Neuroprosthetics uses Message Passing Interface (MPI, think it just like our API) for coordination of these Neuroprosthetics. The reason is we basically want a real working Neuroprosthetics – like an artificial limb. The neurons inside the brain never thinks the person has lost the hand. The target of next generation Neuroprosthetics is to connect them properly. Phython, Java are most frequently used Programming languages to code. So Computational neuroscience and Neuroprosthetics needs a binding.
The problem to proceed with next generation Neuroprosthetics is the manufacturer company. The magnitude will be understood if, like WordPress a perfect example of a successful Open Source Project, an organization starts to supply the source codes of hardware and softwares for Neuroprosthetics or just simple prosthetics those work on fuzzy logic like a Pacemaker. The monopoly business will be closed, a $2000 device can be manufactured at $250 with the codes of Open Source. These ways to make Neuroprosthetics as well as other prosthetics less costly were thought by many peoples, but its a business – its difficult to fight with these high money making brands.
Image : miami.edu
Coming back to MPI like things again, there is a software named GENESIS (Its not the WordPress Theme framework it stands for GEneral NEural SImulation System). It does have enough promise for next generation Neuroprosthetics, but all lacks the standardization despite the programming languages are the same.
It is an example code for an experimental Invasive Neuroprosthetics that can connect the brain (think WordPress is connecting to MySQL database server serving as primary database) and do circumduction (rotational movement on one axis at 90 degree with the joint) of the lost thumb (which has been replaced by an next generation Neuroprosthetics). This script connects the inorganic Neuroprosthetics with a database. Which in turn connects with the brain (part of the script) :
/*** The base configurations of the Neuroprosthetics for connecting the thumb. * Do not use commercially * This script has the configurations for MySQL settings * connection keys, Device specific Language *@package Thumb
*/ // **SQL settings - Must match with the device config of the Neuroprosthetics ** //
/** The name of the database for storing data for the Neuroprosthetics */ define('DB_THUMB', 'device_name_here'); /** MySQL database details*/ define('DB_USER', 'username_here'); define('DB_PASSWORD', 'password_here'); define('DB_HOST', 'device');
Those who know basics of PHP, the file will appear easy – its like wp-config.php ! In case of Neuroprosthetics, we do not want MySQL database to override action of the brain. This will create conflict with normal reflexes. As there are lost neurons and nerves on the thumb, we need to simulate the “things perceived” by the Neuroprosthetics thumb and fool the brain, that can easily be done with hundreds of PHP scripts with MPI calls and cURL.
If you are smiling, there is more. We need cache for Neuroprosthetics too. The reason is, for common actions, there is no need to execute the scripts, that will decrease the lifespan of the external power source of the Neuroprosthetics.