Monday, December 26, 2016

Penn's Restoring Active Memory dataset freely available


Image from an earlier DARPA news story


Restoring Active Memory (RAM) is a DARPA research program that aims to enhance memory in military personnel who have suffered traumatic brain injuries. The goal is to design an implant, or “memory prosthesis,” that will treat memory loss via electrical stimulation.

Although the failure to replicate a previous study that showed a beneficial effect of entorhinal stimulation was considered “Bad News” by The Neurocritic, among the pieces of good news is the public release of an extensive human intracranial recording dataset.

Penn’s Restoring Active Memory Project Releases Extensive Human Brain Dataset

. . .
Two years into the DARPA-funded Restoring Active Memory or RAM program, lead researcher Daniel Rizzuto, director of cognitive neuromodulation, and Michael Kahana, Penn psychology professor and RAM principal investigator, along with colleagues, have enrolled more than 200 patients and collected more than 1,000 hours of data from patients performing memory tasks. They have now released the largest human intracranial brain recording and stimulation dataset to date, and it’s available for public use, for free.

This data release (from 149 subjects collected during Phase I of RAM) includes:
  • Electrocorticographic (ECoG) recordings
  • Individual electrode contact atlas location and coordinates for localization
  • Session notes, behavioral event data, and iEEG recording data (split by channel) for the following RAM Phase 1 experiments:
    • FR1/2: Verbal Free Recall
    • CatFR1/2: Categorized Verbal Free Recall
    • PAL1/2: Verbal Paired Associates Learning
    • YC1/2: Yellow Cab Spatial Navigation

see RAM Public Data for more.


Also of interest are at least 10 posters that were presented at the 2016 meeting of the Society of Neuroscience. The abstracts for these include:

Targeted brain stimulation to modulate memory in humans (and poster).

Large-scale assessment of the effects of direct electrical stimulation on brain network activity (and poster).

Studying the effects of direct subdural electrical stimulation in human subjects during a verbal associative memory task.

Human memory enhancement through stimulation of middle temporal gyrus
In total, 40 patients implanted with intracranial electrodes for seizure monitoring were stimulated during encoding of word lists for subsequent recall in two verbal memory tasks.  ...  50Hz continuous bipolar stimulation was delivered during epochs of word presentation...

We report memory enhancement in two out of two cases of stimulation in the left posterior middle temporal gyrus, which resulted in significantly increased number of remembered words on stimulated versus non-stimulated lists (p<0.05, permutation test) with subjective experience of improved remembering of words in one of the patients. The effect of stimulation was correlated with univariate changes in spectral power, coherence and phase synchrony, as well as by a multi-variate classifier analysis of spectral power changes characterizing successful word recall. There was no positive effect found in any other of the structures tested in this study, which included areas of the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and the associated medial temporal neocortex.

The Computational Memory Lab at Penn has been a commendable model for the Open Science movement.

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