• ARCHITECTURE DESIGN FOR A NEURAL SPIKE-BASED DATA REDUCTION PLATFORM PROCESSING THOUSANDS OF RECORDING CHANNELS

      Obeid, Iyad, 1975-; Silage, Dennis; Picone, Joseph (Temple University. Libraries, 2014)
      Simultaneous recordings of single and multi-unit neural signals from multiple cortical areas in the brain are a vital tool for gaining more understanding of the operating mechanism of the brain as well as for developing Brain Machine Interfaces. Monitoring the activity levels of hundreds or even thousands of neurons can lead to reliable decoding of brain signals for controlling prosthesis of multiple degrees of freedom and different functionalities. With the advancement of high density microelectrode arrays, the craving of neuroscience research to record the activity of thousands of neurons is achievable. Recently CMOS-based Micro-electrode Arrays MEAs featuring high spatial and temporal resolution have been reported. The augmentation in the number of recording sites carries different challenges to the neural signal processing system. The primary challenge is the massive increase in the incoming data that needs to be transmitted and processed in real time. Data reduction based on the sparse nature of the neural signals with respect to time becomes essential. The dissertation presents the design of a neural spike-based data reduction platform that can handle a few thousands of channels on Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), making use of their massive parallel processing capabilities and reconfigurability. For Standalone implementation the spike detector core uses Finite State Machines (FSMs) to control the interface with the data acquisition as well as sending the spike waveforms to a common output FIFO. The designed neural signal processing platform integrates the application of high-speed serial Multi-Gigabit transceivers on FPGAs to allow massive data transmission in real time. It also provides a design for autonomous threshold setting for each channel.