Insights into Human Cognition from Direct Brain Recording

Robert Knight

(UC Berkeley)

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Date: December 4, 2017


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.

Created: Monday, December 4th, 2017