Haptic fMRI

Combining Interactive Haptics and Neuroimaging For Human Motor Control Experiments

Haptic fMRI Interface: A novel three degree-of-freedom fMRI-compatible haptic interface designed for neuroscience studies.

Our Methods

We recently developed a family of novel experimental devices, Haptic fMRI Interfaces (HFI), to enable neuroimaging experiments that study how day-to-day manipulation tasks map on to the brain. Users manipulate a haptic interface while being immersed in an interactive virtual simulation. The haptic interface simulates physical interaction by applying appropriate forces whenever users touch and feel virtual objects. HFI can support a variety of structured motor tasks, and thus overcomes traditional constraints on motor control fMRI experiments.


Our Research Goals

The key insight in designing motor neuroscience experiments is that experiments must probe how the brain resolves the under-constrained inversion of low dimensional task specifications into high dimensional actuator commands. Moving a hand, for instance, involves specifying a three translation variables, which must be mapped into control signals for fifty muscles. Lacking a formal theory to probe this muscular coordination map, present neuroscience experiments rely on brute-force designs with incremental trial-and-error based updates. These experiments are tedious, error-prone, and limited in scope.

Our human biomechanical model controllers can predict what real-world motions induce large gradients in the the neuromuscular actuation space, and HFI allows us to perform these potentially complex motions in a structured manner. These experimental methods set the stage for experiments to map human motor coordination.




Publications

[2016] Menon. S, Ganti. H, Khatib. O, “Using Haptic fMRI to Enable Interactive Motor Neuroimaging Experiments”, Experimental Robotics, Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics, Vol. 109, pages 89-103, 2016. Download paper Bibtex

[2014] Menon. S, Yu. M, Kay. K, Khatib. O, “Haptic fMRI : Accurately Estimating Neural Responses in Motor, Pre-Motor, and Somatosensory Cortex During Complex Motor Tasks”, Proceedings of the 14th Annual Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2014 [Pubmed, IEEE] Download paper Bibtex

[2014] Menon. S, Stanley. A, Zhu. J, Okamura. A, Khatib. O, “Mapping Stiffness Perception in the Brain with an fMRI-Compatible Particle-Jamming Haptic Interface”, Proceedings of the 14th Annual Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2014 [Pubmed, IEEE] Download paper Bibtex

[2014] Menon. S, Quigley. P, Yu. M, Khatib. O, “Haptic fMRI : Using Classification to Quantify Task-Correlated Noise during Goal-Directed Reaching Motions”, Proceedings of the 14th Annual Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2014 [Pubmed, IEEE] Download paper Bibtex

[2013] Menon. S, Brantner. G, Aholt. C, Kay. K, Khatib. O, “Haptic fMRI : Combining Functional Neuroimaging with Haptics for Studying the Brain's Motor Control Representation”, Proceedings of the 13th Annual Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, pages 4137–4142, 2013 [Pubmed, IEEE] Download paper Bibtex



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