Millions of people suffering from multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injuries or amputees could soon interact with their computers and surroundings using just their eyes, thanks to a new device that costs less than £40 (~$63).
Researchers have given rats the ability to "touch" infrared light by fitting them with an infrared detector wired to microscopic electrodes implanted in the part of the mammalian brain that processes tactile information. The study demonstrated that a novel sensory input could be processed by a cortical region specialized in another sense without "hijacking" the function of this brain area.
Researchers electronically linked the brains of pairs of rats for the first time, enabling them to communicate directly to solve simple behavioral puzzles. A further test of this work successfully linked the brains of two animals thousands of miles apart - one in Durham, N.C., and one in Natal, Brazil.
Researchers show that when humans use brain-computer interface technology, the brain behaves much like it does when completing simple motor skills such as waving a hand. This technology could help improve the daily lives of those who are paralyzed or lost specific abilities due to neurodegenerative diseases.