Toward synergy-based brain-machine interfaces

Ramana Vinjamuri, Douglas J. Weber, Zhi Hong Mao, Jennifer L. Collinger, Alan D. Degenhart, John W. Kelly, Michael L. Boninger, Elizabeth C. Tyler-Kabara, Wei Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


This paper demonstrates a synergy-based brain-machine interface that uses low-dimensional command signals to control a high dimensional virtual hand. First, temporal postural synergies were extracted from the angular velocities of finger joints of five healthy subjects when they performed hand movements that were similar to activities of daily living. Two synergies inspired from the extracted synergies, namely, two-finger pinch and whole-hand grasp, were used in real-time brain control, where a virtual hand with 10 degrees of freedom was controlled to grasp or pinch virtual objects. These two synergies were controlled by electrocorticographic (ECoG) signals recorded from two electrodes of an electrode array that spanned motor and speech areas of an individual with intractable epilepsy, thus demonstrating closed loop control of a synergy-based brain-machine interface.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5928411
Pages (from-to)726-736
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Brain-machine interface
  • kinematic synergies
  • neural prosthesis
  • virtual reality


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