Experimental and computational study on motor control and
recovery after stroke: towards a constructive loop between
experimental and virtual embodied neuroscience.
Anna Letizia Allegra Mascaro, Egidio Falotico, Spase Petkoski,
Maria Pasquini, Lorenzo Vannucci, Nuria Tort-Colet, Emilia Conti,
Francesco Resta, Cristina Spalletti, Shravan Tata Ramalingasetty,
Emanuele Formento, Emmanouil Agelidis, Camilla Hagen Blixhavn,
Trygve B. Leergaard, Matteo Caleo, Axel von Arnim, Alain Destexhe,
Auke Ijspeert, Silvestro Micera, Cecilia Laschi, Viktor Jirsa,
Marc-Oliver Gewaltig, Francesco S. Pavone.
Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, in press.
Being able to replicate real experiments with computational
simulations is a unique opportunity to refine and validate models
with experimental data and redesign the experiments based on
simulations. However, since it is technically demanding to model
all components of an experiment, traditional approaches to modeling
reduce the experimental setups as much as possible. In this study,
our goal is to replicate all the relevant features of an experiment
on motor control and motor rehabilitation after stroke. To this
aim, we propose an approach that allows continuous integration of
new experimental data into a computational modeling framework.
First, results show that we could reproduce experimental object
displacement with high accuracy via the simulated embodiment in the
virtual world by feeding a spinal cord model with experimental
registration of the cortical activity. Second, by using
computational models of multiple granularities, our preliminary
results show the possibility of simulating several features of the
brain after stroke, from the local alteration in neuronal activity
to long-range connectivity remodeling. Finally, strategies are
proposed to merge the two pipelines. We further suggest that
additional models could be integrated into the framework thanks to
the versatility of the proposed approach, thus allowing many
researchers to achieve continuously improved experimental design.
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