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Evaluating the Signal Processing Capacities of Post-Mortem Cerebral Cortical Tissue by Artificial Phototransduction of Dynamic Visual Stimuli

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Document pages: 13 pages

Abstract: The signal processing function of human cerebral cortical tissues is determined by the regional cytoarchitectures distributed throughout the brain. Based upon this assumption, we pursued the hypothesis that residual microstructure within the primary and associative visual cortices of a fixed, post-mortem whole human brain would process electrical signals differentially. To this end, we designed and engineered a very simple brain-photocell interface. Photostimuli, presented as either periodic flashes or as dynamic visual images, were transduced by photocells attached to the optic nerve of a post-mortem human brain specimen. The novel approach revealed that microvolt fluctuations within the primary and associative visual cortices could be discriminated. Simple light-dark discrimination was noted for the primary visual area (BA17) whereas within the right occipito-parietal cortices of the dorsal visual stream (BA19, BA7), spectral power of microvolt fluctuations could discriminate moving visual stimuli from those which were non-moving. Discriminant analysis classified movement represented within the right parietal lobe with 80 success. Together, the results suggest that artificially generated electrical signals are processed differentially by alternative cortical regions in the post-mortem brain.

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