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
"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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
Creationists are Mad About Google Doodle Depicting Evolution
November 24, 2015, 8:48 PM
DHS and TSA: Whoops, We Missed That 73 Airport Employees May be Terrorists
November 19, 2015, 2:16 PM
Star Wars Spinoff Film "Rogue One", Theme Park Attractions Announced
August 17, 2015, 12:20 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Most Popular Articles
Free Windows 10 offer ends July 29th, 2016: 10 Reasons to Upgrade Immediately
July 22, 2016, 9:19 PM
Smart Security Cameras: 5 Good Choices For Any Budget
July 25, 2016, 7:13 PM
Top 5 Smart Watches
July 21, 2016, 11:48 PM
2017 Porsche Panamera: I’ll Take Three of These.
July 24, 2016, 6:44 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information