Next generation electrical brain stimulation may help to restore memory deficits

Michael Kahana

University of Pennsylvania

Funded in December, 2007: $300000 for 3 years


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Next generation electrical brain stimulation may help to restore memory deficits

Researchers will work to refine and test the next generation of implanted and electrically stimulated brain electrodes, which are designed to help cognitively impaired patients regain their abilities to store and retrieve memories. The investigators will build upon prior human and animal studies that have demonstrated the therapeutic benefit of electrical brain stimulation in patients with conditions that destroy motor and sensory abilities, which are not effectively treated with existing drug therapies.

With currently used implanted electrodes, signals flow only from the stimulated electrodes to the brain cells.  For this next generation of brain stimulators, which hold the potential to repair cognitive deficits including memory, the researchers will work to establish a dynamic interaction between the patients’ brain’s signals and the implanted electrodes to maximize their potential therapeutic benefit. The investigators will harness science’s improved understanding of the physiology of memory to determine how to optimally time the generation of electrical impulses to enhance patients’ abilities to form and recall memories.

These “Brain Computer Interfaces” (BCI’s) will utilize a rich array of patients’ brain signals that are generated from single brain cells as well as from complicated neural networks. The researchers will test this approach in 24 patients with intractable epilepsy, who have had electrodes surgically implanted to monitor and help prevent their seizures. Using these electrodes, the investigators will obtain real-time feedback on the electrical signaling rhythms in the patients’ brain as they perform memory tasks. By comparing signaling characteristics with patients’ performance, they will identify the optimal time to stimulate the electrodes to intensify this brain signaling, and determine whether patients’ memory performance is improved. If successful, dynamic BCIs can be developed into a “cognitive neuroprosthesis” for helping to restore patients’ abilities to store and retrieve memories.


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Intracranial EEG for Theta Rhythm Contingency during Cognitive Tasks

This proposal, “Intracranial EEG for Theta Rhythm Contingency during Cognitive Tasks,” seeks to begin research in extending the domain of brain machine interfaces to cognition and memory.  We seek to explore the role intracranial theta rhythms play in memory formation and to demonstrate a causative role for these rhythms.  We aim to do this by establishing real-time feedback from intracranial subdural and depth electrodes, implanted in patients for seizure monitoring.  By monitoring these rhythms and adjusting presentation of a cognitive task accordingly, we hope to thereby close the loop between recorded signals and stimulus presentation.



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Michael Kahana

Principal Investigator/Program Director (Last, First, Middle): Zaghloul, Kareem

PHS 398/2590 (Rev. 09/04, Reissued 4/2006) Page 6 Biographical Sketch Format Page


Provide the following information for the key personnel and other significant contributors in the order listed on Form Page 2.

Follow this format for each person. DO NOT EXCEED FOUR PAGES.


Kahana, Michael J.




Professor of Psychology

EDUCATION/TRAINING (Begin with baccalaureate or other initial professional education, such as nursing, and include postdoctoral training.)


(if applicable) YEAR(s) FIELD OF STUDY

Case Western Reserve Univ., Cleveland, OH B.A./M.A. 1989 Psychology

University Toronto, ON, Canada Ph.D. 1993 Experimental Psychology

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA NIH Postdoc 1994 Experimental Psychology

A. Positions and Honors.

Positions and Employment

1994-1999 Assistant Professor, Dept of Psychology and National Center for Complex Systems,

Brandeis University, Boston, MA

2000-2004 Associate Professor, Dept of Psychology and National Center for Complex Systems,

Brandeis University, Boston, MA

2004-present Professor, Dept of Psychology and Institute of Neurological Sciences,University of Pennsylvania

Other Experience and Professional Memberships

2001-2005 Associate Editor, Memory & Cognition

2005-present Associate Editor, Cognitive Psychology

2003-2007 Member, BBBP-4 Study Section (Cognition and Perception), Centers for Scientific Review,

National Institutes of Health

B. Selected peer-reviewed publications (in chronological order)

1. Kahana, M. J.. (2000). Contingency Analyses of Human Memory. In E. Tulving and F.I.M. Craik (Eds.) The

Oxford Handbook of Memory. Oxford University Press. pp. 59-72.

2. Caplan, J. B., Kahana, M. J., Sekuler, R., Kirschen, M. & Madsen, J. R. (2000). Task dependence of

human theta: the case for multiple cognitive functions. Neurocomputing, 32, 659-665.

3. Rizzuto, D. S., and Kahana, M. J. (2001). An autoassociative model of paired-associate learning. Neural

Computation, 13, 2075-2092.

4. Kahana, M. J., and Sekuler, R. (2002). Recognizing spatial patterns: A noisy exemplar approach. Vision

Research, 42, 2177-2192.

5. Rizzuto, D. S., Madsen, J. R., Bromfield, E., Schulze-Bonhage, A., Seelig, D., Aschenbrenner-Scheibe, R.,

and Kahana, M. J. (2003). Reset of human neocortical oscillations during a working memory task.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 100, 7931-7936.

6. Caplan, J. B., Madsen, J. R., Schulze-Bonhage, A., Aschenbrenner-Scheibe, R., Newman, E. L., and

Kahana, M. J. (2003). Human theta oscillations related to sensorimotor integration and spatial learning.

Journal of Neuroscience, 23, 4726-4736.

7. Ekstrom, A. D., Kahana, M. J., Caplan, J. B., Fields, T. A., Isham, E. A., Newman, E. L., and Fried, I.

(2003). Cellular networks underlying human spatial navigation. Nature, 425, 184-187.

8. Howard, M. W., Rizzuto, D. S., Caplan, J. B., Madsen, J. R., Lisman, J., Aschenbrenner-Scheibe, R.,

Schulze-Bonhage, A., and Kahana, M. J. (2003). Gamma oscillations correlate with working memory

load in humans. Cerebral Cortex, 13, 1369-1374.

Principal Investigator/Program Director (Last, First, Middle): Zaghloul, Kareem

PHS 398/2590 (Rev. 09/04, Reissued 4/2006) Page 7 Continuation Format Page