Researchers describe how an electrode array sitting on top of the brain enabled a 30-year-old paralyzed man to control the movement of a character on a computer screen in three dimensions with just his thoughts. It also enabled him to move a robot arm to touch a friend’s hand for the first time in the seven years.
In a new study, a small, two-wheeled robot was driven by a male silkmoth to track down the sex pheromone usually given off by a female mate.
Scientists used an electronic prosthetic system to tap into existing circuitry in the brain at the cellular level and record the firing patterns of multiple neurons in the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain involved in decision-making. They then “played” that recording back to the same brain area to electrically stimulate decision-based neural activity. Not only did it restore function, in some cases, it also improved it.
By decoding brain activity, scientists were able to ‘see’ that 2 monkeys were planning to approach the same reaching task differently – even before they moved a muscle.
Georgia Tech researchers have created a wireless, musical glove that may improve sensation and motor skills for people with paralyzing spinal cord injury (SCI).