Sensory integration for neuroprostheses: from functional benefits to neural correlates

Keqin Ding, Mohsen Rakhshan, Natalia Paredes-Acuña, Gordon Cheng, Nitish V. Thakor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Abstract: In the field of sensory neuroprostheses, one ultimate goal is for individuals to perceive artificial somatosensory information and use the prosthesis with high complexity that resembles an intact system. To this end, research has shown that stimulation-elicited somatosensory information improves prosthesis perception and task performance. While studies strive to achieve sensory integration, a crucial phenomenon that entails naturalistic interaction with the environment, this topic has not been commensurately reviewed. Therefore, here we present a perspective for understanding sensory integration in neuroprostheses. First, we review the engineering aspects and functional outcomes in sensory neuroprosthesis studies. In this context, we summarize studies that have suggested sensory integration. We focus on how they have used stimulation-elicited percepts to maximize and improve the reliability of somatosensory information. Next, we review studies that have suggested multisensory integration. These works have demonstrated that congruent and simultaneous multisensory inputs provided cognitive benefits such that an individual experiences a greater sense of authority over prosthesis movements (i.e., agency) and perceives the prosthesis as part of their own (i.e., ownership). Thereafter, we present the theoretical and neuroscience framework of sensory integration. We investigate how behavioral models and neural recordings have been applied in the context of sensory integration. Sensory integration models developed from intact-limb individuals have led the way to sensory neuroprosthesis studies to demonstrate multisensory integration. Neural recordings have been used to show how multisensory inputs are processed across cortical areas. Lastly, we discuss some ongoing research and challenges in achieving and understanding sensory integration in sensory neuroprostheses. Resolving these challenges would help to develop future strategies to improve the sensory feedback of a neuroprosthetic system. Graphical abstract: (Figure presented.)

Original languageEnglish
JournalMedical & Biological Engineering & Computing
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Multisensory integration
  • Neuroprostheses
  • Sensory integration
  • Sensory stimulation


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