Neuroscience research involving epileptic patients with brain electrodes surgically implanted in their medial temporal lobes shows that patients learned to consciously control individual neurons deep in the brain with thoughts.
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).
Using several neuroimaging methods, a team of researchers working at the University of Western Ontario have now uncovered that functional changes within a key brain network occur directly after a 30-minute session of noninvasive, neural-based training.
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.
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 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.