Silvestro Micera

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Courses taught by this person (7)
BIOENG-448: Fundamentals of neuroengineering
Neuroengineering is at the frontier between neuroscience and engineering: understanding how the brain works allows developing engineering applications and therapies of high impact, while the design of new measurement and data analysis techniques contributes to advance our knowledge about the brain.
BIOENG-486: Sensorimotor neuroprosthetics
Teaching objectives: history, upper limb and hand neuroprostheses, lower limb neuroprostheses, student project.
ENG-615: Topics in Autonomous Robotics
Students will be introduced to modern approaches in control and design of autonomous robots through lectures and exercises.
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Related research domains (96)
Spinal cord
The spinal cord is a long, thin, tubular structure made up of nervous tissue, which extends from the medulla oblongata in the brainstem to the lumbar region of the vertebral column (backbone). The b
In medicine, a prosthesis (: prostheses; from prósthesis), or a prosthetic implant, is an artificial device that replaces a missing body part, which may be lost through trauma, disease, or a condi
Neuroprosthetics (also called neural prosthetics) is a discipline related to neuroscience and biomedical engineering concerned with developing neural prostheses. They are sometimes contrasted with a
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Related publications (274)

An attention-based deep learning approach for the classification of subjective cognitive decline and mild cognitive impairment using resting-state EEG

Michael Lassi, Silvestro Micera

Objective. This study aims to design and implement the first deep learning (DL) model to classify subjects in the prodromic states of Alzheimer's disease (AD) based on resting-state electroencephalographic (EEG) signals. Approach. EEG recordings of 17 healthy controls (HCs), 56 subjective cognitive decline (SCD) and 45 mild cognitive impairment (MCI) subjects were acquired at resting state. After preprocessing, we selected sections corresponding to eyes-closed condition. Five different datasets were created by extracting delta, theta, alpha, beta and delta-to-theta frequency bands using bandpass filters. To classify SCD vs MCI and HC vs SCD vs MCI, we propose a framework based on the transformer architecture, which uses multi-head attention to focus on the most relevant parts of the input signals. We trained and validated the model on each dataset with a leave-one-subject-out cross-validation approach, splitting the signals into 10 s epochs. Subjects were assigned to the same class as the majority of their epochs. Classification performances of the transformer were assessed for both epochs and subjects and compared with other DL models. Main results. Results showed that the delta dataset allowed our model to achieve the best performances for the discrimination of SCD and MCI, reaching an Area Under the ROC Curve (AUC) of 0.807, while the highest results for the HC vs SCD vs MCI classification were obtained on alpha and theta with a micro-AUC higher than 0.74. Significance. We demonstrated that DL approaches can support the adoption of non-invasive and economic techniques as EEG to stratify patients in the clinical population at risk for AD. This result was achieved since the attention mechanism was able to learn temporal dependencies of the signal, focusing on the most discriminative patterns, achieving state-of-the-art results by using a deep model of reduced complexity. Our results were consistent with clinical evidence that changes in brain activity are progressive when considering early stages of AD.
IOP Publishing Ltd2023

Convolutional neural network classifies visual stimuli from cortical response recorded with wide-field imaging in mice

Daniela De Luca, Silvestro Micera

Objective. The optic nerve is a good location for a visual neuroprosthesis. It can be targeted when a subject cannot receive a retinal prosthesis and it is less invasive than a cortical implant. The effectiveness of an electrical neuroprosthesis depends on the combination of the stimulation parameters which must be optimized, and an optimization strategy might be performing closed-loop stimulation using the evoked cortical response as feedback. However, it is necessary to identify target cortical activation patterns and to associate the cortical activity with the visual stimuli present in the visual field of the subjects. Visual stimuli decoding should be performed on large areas of the visual cortex, and with a method as translational as possible to shift the study to human subjects in the future. The aim of this work is to develop an algorithm that meets these requirements and can be leveraged to automatically associate a cortical activation pattern with the visual stimulus that generated it. Approach. Three mice were presented with ten different visual stimuli, and their primary visual cortex response was recorded using wide-field calcium imaging. Our decoding algorithm relies on a convolutional neural network (CNN), trained to classify the visual stimuli from the correspondent wide-field images. Several experiments were performed to identify the best training strategy and investigate the possibility of generalization. Main results. The best classification accuracy was 75.38% +/- 4.77%, obtained pre-training the CNN on the MNIST digits dataset and fine-tuning it on our dataset. Generalization was possible pre-training the CNN to classify Mouse 1 dataset and fine-tuning it on Mouse 2 and Mouse 3, with accuracies of 64.14% +/- 10.81% and 51.53% +/- 6.48% respectively. Significance. The combination of wide-field calcium imaging and CNNs can be used to classify the cortical responses to simple visual stimuli and might be a viable alternative to existing decoding methodologies. It also allows us to consider the cortical activation as reliable feedback in future optic nerve stimulation experiments.
IOP Publishing Ltd2023

Early decoding of walking tasks with minimal set of EMG channels

Eugenio Anselmino, Federica Barberi, Francesco Iberite, Silvestro Micera

Objective. Powered lower-limb prostheses relying on decoding motor intentions from non-invasive sensors, like electromyographic (EMG) signals, can significantly improve the quality of life of amputee subjects. However, the optimal combination of high decoding performance and minimal set-up burden is yet to be determined. Here we propose an efficient decoding approach obtaining high decoding performance by observing only a fraction of the gait duration with a limited number of recording sites. Approach. Thirteen transfemoral amputee subjects performed five motor tasks while recording EMG signals from four muscles and inertial signals from the prosthesis. A support-vector-machine-based algorithm decoded the gait modality selected by the patient from a finite set. We investigated the trade-off between the robustness of the classifier's accuracy and the minimization of (i) the duration of the observation window, (ii) the number of EMG recording sites, (iii) the computational load of the procedure, measured the complexity of the algorithm. Main results. When including pre-foot-strike data in the decoding, the combination of three EMG recording sites and the inertial signals led to correct rates above 94% at the 20% of the gait cycle, showing the best trade-off between invasiveness of the setup and accuracy of the classifier. The complexity of the algorithm proved to be significantly higher when applying a polynomial kernel compared to a linear one, while the correct rate of the classifier generally showed no differences between the two approaches. The proposed algorithm led to high performance with a minimal EMG set-up and using only a fraction of the gait duration. Significance. These results pave the way for efficient control of powered lower-limb prostheses with minimal set-up burden and a rapid classification output.
IOP Publishing Ltd2023
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