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Monkey mind control; a breakthrough for paralysis?

By Haris Afzal on Saturday, October 8, 2011 with 0 comments

Monkey mind control; a breakthrough for paralysis? Health News
SAO PAULO: Scientists believe they are a step closer to enabling paralyzed people to walk and use artificial arms after an

experiment in which monkeys moved and sensed objects using only their minds.

The monkeys were able to operate a virtual arm to search for objects through brain activity that was picked up by implants — a

so-called brain-machine interface.

In a leap forward from previous studies, the primates were also able to experience the sense of touch — a crucial element of

any solution for paralyzed people because it enables them to judge the strength used to grasp and control objects.

"This was one of the most difficult steps and the fact that we achieved it opens the door to the dream of a person being able to

walk again," Miguel Nicolelis, a Brazilian neuroscientist who took part in the study carried out by a team at Duke University in

North Carolina.

The results suggest it would be possible to create a kind of robotic "exoskeleton" that people could use to feel and sense

objects, he said.

Category: Health News



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