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Power-efficient IC sheds light on mind-body connection

Posted: 25 Nov 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:A*STAR IME? mind-body connection? electromagnetic radiation?

The human brain remains a complex puzzle with questions unanswered on how it controls human behaviour, cognitive functions and movements despite the advances in neuroscience research. Scientists from A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics (IME), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and National University of Singapore (NUS) have developed and demonstrated an chip with record-low power consumption for direct recording of brain activities.

According to them, this breakthrough cuts the patient's exposure to electromagnetic radiation and heat during the recording process, making it possible to integrate greater number of channels (>100 channels) to acquire more comprehensive profile of brain signals, paving the way to unlock the mystery behind the complex mind-body connection.

Power-efficient IC sheds light on mind-body connection

Neural recording system is a vital tool to acquire and process brain signals, and is also applied in artificial limb control (or neural prosthesis) treatments for paralyzed patients. The system comprises multiple electrodes for data acquisition and is implanted within the skull during the operation. The implantability of the system places tight limits on its size and power consumption, while at the same time demanding sufficient performance to record good quality data.

The joint team demonstrated for the first time, a 100-channel neural-recording IC that boasts a record low power consumption of 0.94mW/channel and the ability to deliver high quality signal recording. Compared to other neural recording ICs, the Singapore-developed IC can operate at just 0.45V supply voltage, half of what is typically required to achieve similar performance. The 100-channel IC chip has also successfully recorded the neural signals of an anesthetized Sprague-Dawley rat, bringing the innovation a step closer to clinical deployment.





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