In light of the general aging of the Western population, efforts to prevent or remediate cognitive aberrations in the elderly have become mandatory. The focus of the ongoing project is to provide an answer that is “individualized” in its perspective and based on the current ‘state-of-the-art’ developments in brain-interfacing technology and signal processing. Specifically, we aim to interface a prosthetic chip with a senescent brain cerebellum in order to rehabilitate a discrete sensory-motor learning function. Using aged animals as experimental subjects, we plan to: (1) develop chronic biocompatible multiple micro & nano electrode arrays for sustainable recording of the sensory inputs to the cerebellum; (2) develop signal analysis procedures for real-time extraction of the physical sensory-events from the neuronal records; (3) feed the sensory events to biomimetic model of the cerebellar microcircuit involved in motor conditioning; (4) provide the basis for embedding the model in a silicon chip to establish an autonomous hybrid; and (5) feed the output of the model cerebellum to brainstem motor nucleus to induce the learned motor response. Rehabilitation of the discrete sensory-motor learning function will provide a ‘proof-of-concept test’ of the efficacy of the hybrid in terms of its capacity to ensure functional autonomy to the animal.
Matti Mintz Psychobiology Research Unit Tel Aviv University