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Federal Grant Will Allow Cortes-Briones to Transcribe Inner Speech from Noninvasive Electrophysiological Signals

September 23, 2020
by Jordan Sisson

A new grant will allow Yale Psychiatry researchers to use deep learning to transcribe inner speech from noninvasive electrophysiological signals.

Jose Cortes-Briones, PhD, Associate Research Scientist in the Schizophrenia Neuropharmacology Research Group at Yale (SNRGY), recently received a Trailblazer R21 Award from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB).

The grant will provide $523,600 over three years, and Cortes-Briones will be the principal investigator on the project. He plans to use deep learning to transcribe inner speech into text from electroencephalographic (EEG) and electromyographic (EMG) signals. Cortes-Briones said besides inner speech, he hopes to use the grant to transcribe the auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) of schizophrenia.

In 2012, Cortes-Briones joined the Yale–VA Schizophrenia Neuropharmacology Research Group (SNRG) led by Cyril D’Souza, MD, MBBS. His research uses several nonlinear analyses on EEG data in order to study the brain dynamics of drug-induced psychosis-like states and schizophrenia.

The NIBIB Trailblazer R21 Award is an opportunity for new and early stage investigators to pursue research programs of high interest to the NIBIB at the interface of the life sciences with engineering and the physical sciences.

“Noninvasive technology for transcribing inner speech may help to improve the wellbeing of patients who, like the late Stephen Hawking, have lost the capacity to articulate their thoughts,” said Cortes-Briones. “Also, using this technology to transcribe auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia could lead to the development of personalized psychological interventions to better cope with this symptom of psychosis.”

Submitted by Jordan Sisson on September 21, 2020