Imperial College London

Nur Ahmadi

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Research Postgraduate







B422Bessemer BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Publication Type

4 results found

Ahmadi N, Cavuto ML, Feng P, Leene LB, Maslik M, Mazza F, Savolainen O, Szostak KM, Bouganis C-S, Ekanayake J, Jackson A, Constandinou TGet al., 2019, Towards a distributed, chronically-implantable neural interface, 9th IEEE/EMBS International Conference on Neural Engineering (NER), Publisher: IEEE, Pages: 719-724, ISSN: 1948-3546

We present a platform technology encompassing a family of innovations that together aim to tackle key challenges with existing implantable brain machine interfaces. The ENGINI (Empowering Next Generation Implantable Neural Interfaces) platform utilizes a 3-tier network (external processor, cranial transponder, intracortical probes) to inductively couple power to, and communicate data from, a distributed array of freely-floating mm-scale probes. Novel features integrated into each probe include: (1) an array of niobium microwires for observing local field potentials (LFPs) along the cortical column; (2) ultra-low power instrumentation for signal acquisition and data reduction; (3) an autonomous, self-calibrating wireless transceiver for receiving power and transmitting data; and (4) a hermetically-sealed micropackage suitable for chronic use. We are additionally engineering a surgical tool, to facilitate manual and robot-assisted insertion, within a streamlined neurosurgical workflow. Ongoing work is focused on system integration and preclinical testing.

Conference paper

Ahmadi N, Constandinou T, Bouganis C, 2019, Decoding Hand Kinematics from Local Field Potentials Using Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) Network, 2019 9th International IEEE/EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering (NER 2019), Pages: 1-5

Local eld potential (LFP) has gained increasing interest as an alternative input signal for brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) due to its informative features, long-term stability, and low frequency content. However, despite these interesting properties, LFP-based BMIs have been reported to yield low decoding performances compared to spike-based BMIs. In this paper, we propose a new decoder based on long short-term memory (LSTM) network which aims to improve the decoding performance of LFP-based BMIs. We compare of ine decoding performance of the proposed LSTM decoder to a commonly used Kalman lter (KF) decoder on hand kinematics prediction tasks from multichannel LFPs. We also benchmark the performance of LFP-driven LSTM decoder against KF decoder driven by two types of spike signals: singleunit activity (SUA) and multi-unit activity (MUA). Our results show that LFP-driven LSTM decoder achieves signi cantly better decoding performance than LFP-, SUA-, and MUAdrivenKF decoders. This suggests that LFPs coupled with LSTM decoder could provide high decoding performance, robust, and low power BMIs.

Conference paper

Ahmadi N, Constandinou T, Bouganis C, 2018, Estimation of neuronal firing rate using Bayesian Adaptive Kernel Smoother (BAKS), PLoS ONE, Vol: 13, ISSN: 1932-6203

Neurons use sequences of action potentials (spikes) to convey information across neuronal networks. In neurophysiology experiments, information about external stimuli or behavioral tasks has been frequently characterized in term of neuronal firing rate. The firing rate is conventionally estimated by averaging spiking responses across multiple similar experiments (or trials). However, there exist a number of applications in neuroscience research that require firing rate to be estimated on a single trial basis. Estimating firing rate from a single trial is a challenging problem and current state-of-the-art methods do not perform well. To address this issue, we develop a new method for estimating firing rate based on a kernel smoothing technique that considers the bandwidth as a random variable with prior distribution that is adaptively updated under an empirical Bayesian framework. By carefully selecting the prior distribution together with Gaussian kernel function, an analytical expression can be achieved for the kernel bandwidth. We refer to the proposed method as Bayesian Adaptive Kernel Smoother (BAKS). We evaluate the performance of BAKS using synthetic spike train data generated by biologically plausible models: inhomogeneous Gamma (IG) and inhomogeneous inverse Gaussian (IIG). We also apply BAKS to real spike train data from non-human primate (NHP) motor and visual cortex. We benchmark the proposed method against established and previously reported methods. These include: optimized kernel smoother (OKS), variable kernel smoother (VKS), local polynomial fit (Locfit), and Bayesian adaptive regression splines (BARS). Results using both synthetic and real data demonstrate that the proposed method achieves better performance compared to competing methods. This suggests that the proposed method could be useful for understanding the encoding mechanism of neurons in cognitive-related tasks. The proposed method could also potentially improve the performance of brain-mac

Journal article

Ahmadi N, Constandinou TG, Bouganis C, 2018, Spike rate estimation using Bayesian Adaptive Kernel Smoother (BAKS) and its application to brain machine interfaces, 40th International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), Publisher: IEEE

Brain Machine Interfaces (BMIs) mostly utilise spike rate as an input feature for decoding a desired motor output as it conveys a useful measure to the underlying neuronal activity. The spike rate is typically estimated by a using non-overlap binning method that yields a coarse estimate. There exist several methods that can produce a smooth estimate which could potentially improve the decoding performance. However, these methods are relatively computationally heavy for real-time BMIs. To address this issue, we propose a new method for estimating spike rate that is able to yield a smooth estimate and also amenable to real-time BMIs. The proposed method, referred to as Bayesian adaptive kernel smoother (BAKS), employs kernel smoothing technique that considers the bandwidth as a random variable with prior distribution which is adaptively updated through a Bayesian framework. With appropriate selection of prior distribution and kernel function, an analytical expression can be achieved for the kernel bandwidth. We apply BAKS and evaluate its impact on of fline BMI decoding performance using Kalman filter. The results show that overlap BAKS improved the decoding performance up to 3.33% and 12.93% compared to overlap and non-overlapbinning methods, respectively, depending on the window size. This suggests the feasibility and the potential use of BAKS method for real-time BMIs.

Conference paper

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