Insights into human cognition from direct brain recording
Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
The last decade has witnessed an explosion of research employing recording of electrical activity directly from the human brain. This method provides a powerful window into the neural basis of behavior and has been applied to a host of human behaviors. The first key finding was that the human brain generates robust neural activity up to 250 Hz (high frequency band; HFB) with exquisite spatial (millimeter) and temporal (millisecond) resolution. The second important observation was that HFB activity is modulated by slower cortical oscillations with different tasks eliciting unique sub-second spatial-temporal activity patterns in the service of behavior. I will first discuss how intracranial recording has provided novel insights into the neural basis of attention, language, memory and decision-making with the intracranial results often challenging prior dogma in the field. I will then review our efforts using HFB activity to decode imagined speech in an effort to develop a brain computer interface for treatment of disabling language deficits.