Electrical localization of neural activity in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord: a modeling study.
Intraspinal microstimulation is a means of eliciting coordinated motor responses for restoration of function. However, detailed maps of the neuroanatomy of the human spinal cord are lacking, and it is not clear where electrodes should be implanted. We developed an electrical approach to localize active neurons in the spinal cord using potentials recorded from the surface of the spinal cord. We evaluated this localization method using an analytical model of the spinal cord and two previously developed inverse algorithms (standardized low resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (sLORETA) and a locally optimal source (LOS) method). The results support electrical source localization as a feasible imaging approach for localizing (within 300 microm) active neurons in the spinal cord. The LOS method could localize the source when 16 recording electrodes were placed on the dorsolateral aspect of the cord and the noise level was 2%. When recording electrodes were positioned around the entire circumference of the spinal cord, either localization method could localize the source, even at 15% noise. Finally, localization error was not sensitive to inaccuracies in the expected electrode positions or the electrical parameters of the forward model, but was sensitive to a geometrical modification of the forward model in one case.
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