Aaron Batista, PhD

Assistant Professor, Bioengineering

Contact

4074 Biomedical Science Tower 3
412.383.5394
F: 412.383.9061
apb10@pitt.edu
Website >

Education

PhD, California Institute of Technology (1999)

Focus

Sensory-motor integration and neural prosthetics

Research Summary

My laboratory explores the neural mechanisms of sensory-motor integration. We study how visually-guided arm and eye movements are orchestrated by the cerebral cortex. We then apply new discoveries in neurophysiology to help improve neural prosthetics - devices that can provide motor control to paralyzed individuals.

There are two chief research directions in the lab: neural prosthetics and basic neuroscience. In the first, we are exploring a new way to provide sensory feedback to the user of a neural prosthesis: cortical microstimulation. By providing the brain with a direct representation of the position of the prosthesis, we hope to improve its controllability. Such fast, accurate feedback may create the sensation that the prosthesis is "embodied": incorporated into the user's body body.

Our second research direction is to understand how arm and eye movements are controlled, and how these movements change our sensory experience. For example, every time we move our eyes, a different image is sent from the retina to the brain. This change is anticipated by the brain, and is accounted for rapidly, to create a seamless visual experience. How is visual information rapidly passed between neurons to permit accurate goal-directed reaching even while the eyes are moving?

Publications

Extracting Low-Dimensional Latent Structure from Time Series in the Presence of Delays.
Lakshmanan KC, Sadtler PT, Tyler-Kabara EC, Batista AP, Yu BM.
Neural Comput. 2015 Sep;27(9):1825-56.
pdf
 
Brain-computer interface control along instructed paths.
Sadtler PT, Ryu SI, Tyler-Kabara EC, Yu BM, Batista AP.
J Neural Eng. 2015 Feb;12(1):016015.
Single-unit activity, threshold crossings, and local field potentials in motor cortex differentially encode reach kinematics.
Perel S, Sadtler PT, Oby ER, Ryu SI, Tyler-Kabara EC, Batista AP, Chase SM.
J Neurophysiol. 2015 Sep;114(3):1500-12.
pdf
 
To sort or not to sort: the impact of spike-sorting on neural decoding performance.
Todorova S, Sadtler P, Batista A, Chase S, Ventura V.
J Neural Eng. 2014 Oct;11(5):056005.
 
Assessing vibrotactile feedback strategies by controlling a cursor with unstable dynamics.
Quick KM, Card NS, Whaite SM, Mischel J, Loughlin P, Batista AP.
Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2014;2014:2589-92.
 
Neural constraints on learning.
Sadtler PT, Quick KM, Golub MD, Chase SM, Ryu SI, Tyler-Kabara EC, Yu BM, Batista AP.
Nature. 2014 Aug 28;512(7515):423-6.
 
Comparing temporal aspects of visual, tactile, and microstimulation feedback for motor control.
Godlove JM, Whaite EO, Batista AP.
J Neural Eng. 2014 Aug;11(4):046025.