Current and future directions of ECoG based mapping and BCI research


Research groups all over the world are working intensively on the task of generating individual maps of a human’s brain in order to exactly locate functional regions. Those regions, once identified, open huge potential, on the one hand for the treatment of neurological disorders like epilepsy, prior to invasive brain surgeries, and on the other hand also for future applications like direct brain-machine interfaces. This workshop highlights practical aspects of diverse methods of functional mapping – starting from classical electrical stimulation mapping to passive functional mapping using electrocorticographic (ECoG) signals.

Many studies over the past decade have shown that ECoG activity in the high gamma band is a reliable indicator of local task-related cortical activity, and could thus complement existing methods for functional mapping.

Further highlights of the workshop are new approaches of semiautomatic mapping of the sensorimotor cortex using somatosensory evoked potentials and cortico-cortical evoked potentials for brain mapping in intraoperative scenarios; as well as semiautomatic evaluation of electrical cortical stimulation results and passive functional mapping results, decoding of limb movement, new approaches in the treatment of movement disorders, invasive BCI applications; and much more.

The speakers of this workshop provide a competent mix between neurosurgery, neurology, scientific and technical expertise. They will highlight state-of-the-art research as well as practical clinical aspects related to brain mapping. The audience will see all the required hardware and software, passive functional mapping, procedures for semiautomatic electrical cortical stimulation, training and montage setup, and mapping operation.

List of Speakers (tentative)

Kyousuke Kamada, MD, PhD, Dept. of Neurosurgery, Asahikawa University, Japan,
Title of Presentation: ”Clinical Impact of Real-time passive mapping”
Bio:  Kyousuke Kamada, MD, PhD is professor and chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at the Asahikawa Medical University in Hokkaido, Japan since 2010. His professional career includes research periods at the Hokkaido University, Japan from 1988-1991, the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany from 1995-1997, where his research was about the clinical application of MEG, fMRI and MR spectroscopy. Furthermore he was research associate at the Georgetown University, Washington D.C., USA from 1997-1998 and an associate professor of neurosurgery, at the University of Tokyo, Japan from 2003-2009. His main research interests include functional brain mapping and brain-computer interfaces.

Milena Korostenskaja, PhD, Florida Hospital for Children, Orlando, FL, USA,
Title of Presentation: “Contribution of innovative real-time functional mapping methodologies to the improvement of surgical outcomes”
Bio:  Milena Korostenskaja, PhD, Neuroscientist, Head of the Functional Brain Mapping and Brain Computer Interface (FBMBCI) Laboratory at Florida Hospital for Children, Orlando, FL, USA. Dr. Korostenskaja received her PhD working with magnetoencephalography (MEG) at BioMag Laboratory, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland and completed her post-doctoral training with MEG and electrocorticography (ECoG) techniques at the Department of Neurology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Ohio, USA. Founded in August 2011, the main goal of the current Dr. Korostenskaja’s FBM-BCI Laboratory at Florida Hospital is to assist the comprehensive epilepsy surgery program and improve outcomes of epilepsy surgery. The essential part of this program is localization of eloquent cortex (responsible for motor, sensory, language, and memory function) that must be maximally preserved while removing pathological epileptogenic substrate from the patients’ brain. Dr. Korostenskaja’s extensive training and expertise in utilizing ECoG and MEG techniques allowed her to implement innovative real-time ECoG-based functional mapping (real-time functional mapping – RTFM) for pre-surgical evaluation of epilepsy surgery patients. At the moment, Dr. Korostenskaja, with her colleagues and collaborators work on validation of RTFM against other functional mapping modalities, such as electrical cortical stimulation mapping (ESM), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and MEG. The results of this research are highly promising and support clinical application of RTFM methodology for pre-surgical eloquent cortex localization. Moreover, Dr. Korostenskaja’s lead studies have demonstrated significant contribution of RTFM in decreasing post-surgical language morbidity.

Aysegul Gunduz, PhD, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, Univ. Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA,
Title of Presentation:  “ECoG for Understanding and Treating Movement Disorders“
Bio:  Aysegul Gunduz, PhD is the Director of the Brain Mapping Laboratory and Assistant Professor at the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida. She earned her BS, MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from Middle East Technical University (Ankara, Turkey, 2001), North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC, 2003) and University of Florida (Gainesville, FL, 2008), respectively. Dr. Gunduz received postdoctoral training at Albany Medical College, Department of Neurology and at the Wadsworth Center, Division of Translational Medicine in Albany, NY. Her research interests include neural interfacing, neural signal processing, neuromodulation, neurological disorders, as well as cortical and deep brain stimulation in human subjects. She has affiliations with the UF Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration and the Malcolm Randall VA Medical Center Brain Rehabilitation Research Center (BRRC). She is the 2015 recipient of the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering Early Career Award.

William Coon, PhD, g.tec neurotechnology USA, Inc., Albany, NY, USA,
Title of Presentation:  “Current and future applications of ECoG-based mapping and BCI“
Bio:  William Coon, PhD joined the g.tec team with the opening of a US division in 2015 dedicated to research & development and located in Albany, NY. He earned his B.Sc. studying systems neuroscience at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, and his PhD in Biomedical Science at the University at Albany in collaboration with the National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies and Albany Medical College. His research interests include studying how neuronal oscillations govern the timing of cortical signal propagation, real-time functional brain mapping using electrocorticography (ECoG), and ECoGbased BCI applications. Currently, his work focuses on novel applications of real-time functional mapping in intra-operative settings, with specific focus on the delineation of higher language areas of the brain.

Organizer I:      Dr. Christoph Guger
Bio:      Dr. Guger studied biomedical engineering at TU Graz, earning his PhD degree in 1999. He developed the first real-time BCI system with continuous feedback, and recently developed BCIs and the first commercially available functional brain mapping system using electrocorticographic (ECoG) signals with his company, g.tec. He has dozens of peer-reviewed publications. 

Organizer II:     Dr. William Coon, PhD
Bio:      Dr. Coon studied functional brain mapping, BCI, and theoretical/experimental neuroscience using ECoG at the Universi at Albany in collaboration with the National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies. He received his PhD in 2015. His current research interests include novel applications for ECoG-based mapping in intraoperative settings, and ECoG-based BCI.