All Publications

  • A high-performance speech neuroprosthesis NATURE Willett, F. R., Kunz, E. M., Fan, C., Avansino, D. T., Wilson, G. H., Choi, E., Kamdar, F., Glasser, M. F., Hochberg, L. R., Druckmann, S., Shenoy, K. V., Henderson, J. M. 2023
  • A high-performance speech neuroprosthesis. Nature Willett, F. R., Kunz, E. M., Fan, C., Avansino, D. T., Wilson, G. H., Choi, E. Y., Kamdar, F., Glasser, M. F., Hochberg, L. R., Druckmann, S., Shenoy, K. V., Henderson, J. M. 2023


    Speech brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) have the potential to restore rapid communication to people with paralysis by decoding neural activity evoked by attempted speech into text1,2 or sound3,4. Early demonstrations, although promising, have not yet achieved accuracies sufficiently high for communication of unconstrained sentences from a large vocabulary1-7. Here we demonstrate a speech-to-text BCI that records spiking activity from intracortical microelectrode arrays. Enabled by these high-resolution recordings, our study participant-who can no longer speak intelligibly owing to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-achieved a 9.1% word error rate on a 50-word vocabulary (2.7 times fewer errors than the previous state-of-the-art speech BCI2) and a 23.8% word error rate on a 125,000-word vocabulary (the first successful demonstration, to our knowledge, of large-vocabulary decoding). Our participant's attempted speech was decoded  at 62 words per minute, which is 3.4 times as fast as the previous record8 and begins to approach the speed of natural conversation (160 words per minute9). Finally, we highlight two aspects of the neural code for speech that are encouraging for speech BCIs: spatially intermixed tuning to speech articulators that makes accurate decoding possible from only a small region of cortex, and a detailed articulatory representation of phonemes that persists years after paralysis. These results show a feasible path forward for restoring rapid communication to people with paralysis who can no longer speak.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41586-023-06377-x

    View details for PubMedID 37612500

    View details for PubMedCentralID 4464168

  • Generalized Shape Metrics on Neural Representations. Advances in neural information processing systems Williams, A. H., Kunz, E., Kornblith, S., Linderman, S. W. 2021; 34: 4738-4750


    Understanding the operation of biological and artificial networks remains a difficult and important challenge. To identify general principles, researchers are increasingly interested in surveying large collections of networks that are trained on, or biologically adapted to, similar tasks. A standardized set of analysis tools is now needed to identify how network-level covariates-such as architecture, anatomical brain region, and model organism-impact neural representations (hidden layer activations). Here, we provide a rigorous foundation for these analyses by defining a broad family of metric spaces that quantify representational dissimilarity. Using this framework, we modify existing representational similarity measures based on canonical correlation analysis and centered kernel alignment to satisfy the triangle inequality, formulate a novel metric that respects the inductive biases in convolutional layers, and identify approximate Euclidean embeddings that enable network representations to be incorporated into essentially any off-the-shelf machine learning method. We demonstrate these methods on large-scale datasets from biology (Allen Institute Brain Observatory) and deep learning (NAS-Bench-101). In doing so, we identify relationships between neural representations that are interpretable in terms of anatomical features and model performance.

    View details for PubMedID 38170102

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10760997