Cortical slow potential and mu-rhythm neurofeedback (visual, auditory) as a communication tool for locked-in patients ("Thought Translation Device, BCI2000"). Event-related potentials (P300) for communication and diagnosis in disorders of consciousness. Development of a flexible general purpose brain-computer interface (BCI) system that can incorporate any of the relevant signals, analyses, and operating formats and can be configured for laboratory or clinical needs and to use the system to compare, contrast, and combine relevant brain signals and signal processing options during BCI operation and thereby develop a standard protocol for applying BCI technology to the needs of individual users. The system is applied and documented to address specific communication needs of people with severe motor disabilities and show that BCI technology is both useful to and actually used by these individuals.
Assessment of depression, quality of life, and coping strategies in locked-in patients. Executive functioning in patients with neurodegenerative diseases. Ethical considerations on life sustaining treatment and the withdrawal thereof in non-responsive patients.
Attention, sleep, dreaming and consciousness in healthy individuals, locked-in patients and patients with disorders of consciousness. Polysomnography is conducted in the hospital or at home in patients with neurological diseases (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Day time attention is assessed and in further studies 24 hour recordings will be conducted to investigate the course of attention and sleep profile in locked-in patients. Formal aspects of REM sleep dreams are assessed in healthy subjects. Specifically emotions and speech.
Investigation of the effects of drug abuse (specifically cocaine use) on executive functioning in addicts using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Cocaine addicts perform a number of high-level cognitive tasks before and after injection of cocaine while their brains are being imaged. The goal is to observe how cocaine use might disrupt normal cognitive function thereby providing an insight into the psychological effects of drug use and into alterations (psychological and neurological) arising from drug use that may dispose the addict to further use. Cue-reactivity in social drinkers and inhibitory control in reduced emotional reactivity such as in individuals with antisocial personality disorders.