Monkeys Distinguish Textured Objects Using Only Brain Activity
October 7, 2011 10:12 AM
comment(s) - last by
Virtual hand being controlled by the monkey's brain activity to choose the correct object/texture based on electrical signals
(Source: Duke Center for Neuroengineering)
A virtual game allows monkeys to control an avatar hand and make correct choices between textured objects with only brain activity
Duke University researchers have taught monkeys to control a virtual hand using nothing but their brain activity in an effort to create technologies that can aid people who are severely paralyzed.
Miguel Nicolelis, M.D., Ph.D., study leader and professor of neurobiology at Duke University Medical Center, and a team of Duke researchers have created a virtual game that
allows monkeys to control
an avatar hand and make correct choices with only brain activity.
The game consists of three virtual objects that are identical in appearance. A virtual hand is on the screen to identify which object the controller is currently "touching." Using only brain activity and no other part of their body's, trained monkeys controlled the virtual hand to explore each of the objects. Each object is of a different texture, which is conveyed to the monkeys through different, assigned electrical signals associated with each one, which are transmitted to the monkeys when the hand is placed on them in the game.
The monkeys were able to learn which electrical response corresponded with each of the three objects' textures, learning to differentiate each one upon "touch." One monkey attempted the task nine times before learning to choose the correct object while another only needed four attempts. According to researchers, the monkeys began sensing the correct object instead of randomly selecting objects after awhile.
"This is the first demonstration of a brain-machine-brain interface that establishes a direct, bidirectional link between a brain and a virtual body," said Nicolelis. "In this BMBI, the virtual body is controlled directly by the animal's brain activity, while its virtual hand generates tactile feedback information that is signaled via direct electrical microstimulation of another region of the animal's cortex.
"This is also the first time we've observed a brain controlling a virtual arm that explores objects while the brain simultaneously receives electrical feedback signals that describe the fine texture of objects 'touched' by the
monkey's newly acquired virtual hand
The study's conclusions suggest that if monkeys can pull this off, humans easily can as well in the future. Researchers hope this eventually leads to a robotic exoskeleton for patients who are
, which will allow them to move and feel the world around them once again.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
10/7/2011 10:34:04 AM
So, in otherwords, monkeys are actually smarter than your average human? Go figure. You can't fix stupid.
10/7/2011 10:55:49 AM
Or it's possible the simpler brain makes for an easier virtual interface. Hand-eye coordination is much more natural to monkeys than humans, largely because the hands and feet are the tools they use most. Humans tend to use their analytical abilities more. Except politicians and CEOs. And reality TV stars.
10/7/2011 11:00:48 AM
"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet. A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
ATI Video Shows Monkey Upgrading Radeon Video Card
January 14, 2010, 11:17 AM
Single Neuron Un-Paralyzes Monkeys in Test
October 17, 2008, 11:14 AM
Monkey Merges With Machine, Uses Robotic Arm to Perform Tasks
May 29, 2008, 2:30 PM
Nail Polish May Soon be Able to Detect Date Rape Drugs
August 26, 2014, 7:57 AM
SpaceX Falcon 9-R Rocket Suffers Malfunction, Self-Destructs During Test Flight
August 23, 2014, 9:36 AM
Texas Chosen as Site for SpaceX's First Commercial Launchpad
August 5, 2014, 1:44 PM
South Carolina Prison Finds Crashed Drone Carrying Drugs, Phones
August 1, 2014, 2:49 PM
NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Gains Seven New Instruments for Exploration
August 1, 2014, 1:30 PM
NASA Opportunity Rover Breaks Record for Most Miles Traveled on Another Planet
July 29, 2014, 1:38 PM
Most Popular Articles
Dell Announces "World's Thinnest" Tablet: The Venue 8 7000 Series
September 11, 2014, 8:51 AM
Apple Announces Its Smartwatch: The $349 Apple Watch
September 9, 2014, 2:09 PM
Quick Note: Buy an Xbox One Sept 7-13, Get a Free Game
September 4, 2014, 10:42 AM
Quick Note: Microsoft to Ditch Windows Phone, Nokia Branding
September 10, 2014, 2:14 PM
Apple Announces 4.7" iPhone 6, 5.5" iPhone 6 Plus
September 9, 2014, 1:45 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information