A DSP-Based Computational Engine For a Brain-Machine Interface

Scott A. Morrison

The fields of neurobiology and electrical engineering have come together to pursue an integrated Brain-Machine Interface (BMI). Signal processing methods are used to find mapping algorithms between motor cortex neural firing rate and hand position. This cognitive extension could help patients with quadriplegia regain some independence using a thought-controlled robot arm. Current signal processing methods to achieve realtime neural-to-motor translation involve large, multi-processor systems to produce motor control parameters. Eventually, software running in a portable signal processing system is needed to allow for the patient to have the BMI in a backpack or attached to a wheelchair. This thesis presents a DSP-Based Computational Engine for a Brain-Machine Interface. The development of a DSP Board based on the Texas Instruments TMS320VC33 DSP will be presented, along with implementations of two digital filters and their training methods: 1) FIR trained with Normalized Least Mean Square Adaptive Filter (NLMS) and 2) Recurrent Multi-Layer Perceptron (RMLP) trained with Real-Time Recurrent Learning (RTRL). The requirements of the DSP Board, component selection and integration, and control software are discussed. The DSP implementations of the digital filters are presented, along with performance and timing analysis in real data collected from an Owl Monkey at Duke University. The weights of the FIR-NLMS filter converged similarly on the DSP as they did in MATLAB. Likewise, the weights of the RMLP-RTRL filter converged similarly on the DSP as they did using the Backpropagation Through Time method in NeuroSolutions. The custom DSP Board and two digital algorithms implemented in this thesis create a starting point for an integrated, portable, real-time signal processing solution for a Brain-Machine Interface.