Brain Signal Study with Micro-ECoG Sensors

Micro-electrocorticography Brain-Computer Interface Study in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit

Protocol Description

Using electrocortigography (ECoG) sensors and micro-ECoG sensors, this study will examine signals generated by the brain and determine whether they can be used to control computers and assistive devices. ECoG uses sensors placed directly on top of the brain to record brain activity. Micro-ECoG sensors are much smaller and can be implanted with minimally invasive surgery. The brain activity recorded can be translated into a control signal for external devices, such as a computer cursor or communication device. The understanding gained through this study may lead to an ability to help children with severe motor disabilities to control more complicated systems such as a wheelchair or prosthetic device.

Eligibility Criteria

Children of both genders, ages 8 years and older, who have epilepsy and are already scheduled for ECoG monitoring as part of their normal clinical care will be eligible for this study, subject to certain exclusion criteria. For this project, potential subjects are identified through routine clinical contact with their neurosurgeons and neurologists.
Boys: 8 years and older
Girls: 8 years and older


ECoG electrodes will be implanted as part of the patient’s normal care, and additional micro-ECoG sensors will also be placed during this surgery. Testing will be done intermittently over the course of the stay in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, which usually lasts three weeks. Testing will involve various activities such as watching objects on a computer monitor, slight physical movements, use of a joystick and playing a video game while researchers record brain activity using ECoG.
Visits: Requires stay in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit
Duration: About 3 weeks

Status: Open only to patients scheduled for ECoG

Source(s) of Support

Department of Neurological Surgery
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
University of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Institute

Primary Investigator

Wei Wang, MD, PhD
Elizabeth Tyler-Kabara, MD, PhD
Mandeep Tamber, MD, PhD

Contact Information

Wei Wang, MD. PhD