New Device Sends Signals Directly from Brain to Muscles, Paralyzed Patients Could Benefit
April 20, 2012 4:40 PM
comment(s) - last by
The new brain machine could help those with paralysis
The machine has already helped a monkey move its paralyzed hand
Northwestern University researchers have created a machine that could one day allow paralyzed patients to move their hands again.
Lee E. Miller, study leader and professor of neuroscience, physiology, physical medicine and rehabilitation at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, developed a brain machine that sends messages from the brain directly to paralyzed muscles (without passing through the spinal cord),
allowing the muscles to move again
To do this, Miller and his team implanted electrodes into monkeys and recorded electrical brain and muscle signals. Using the recordings, the researchers created an algorithm that allowed them to interpret the signals and understand patterns associated with muscle activity. In other words, the team managed to compute the relationship between the brain and muscle activity.
"We are eavesdropping on the natural electrical signals from the brain that tell the arm and hand how to move, and sending those signals directly to the muscles," said Miller. "This connection from brain to muscles might someday be used to
help patients paralyzed
due to spinal cord injury perform activities of daily living and achieve greater independence."
Miller and his team tested the brain machine on a monkey that had a local anesthetic block nerve activity at the elbow. This caused temporary paralysis of the hand. Then, using neuroprosthesis, which were devices in the brain and arms that sense a plethora of movements the monkey may want to make (such as gripping a ball), the monkeys brain signals controlled tiny electric currents that were delivered to the muscles in less than 40 milliseconds. The monkey was allowed to pick up a ball almost as it did before its hand was paralyzed.
Part of the system was an implant called a multi-electrode array, which is capable of detecting 100 neurons' activity in the brain. It acts as an interface between the brain and the computer used to interpret signals associated with hand movements.
Miller said the system could help those with paralysis learn to move their hands and possibly other muscles in the body at some point.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Just a start
4/21/2012 8:21:32 PM
It's been several years, so I don't remember clearly, but I recall a Popular Science article (I think) about enhanced vision and additional limbs. In that, experts said human minds wouldn't know how to interpret the vision signals or use the limbs, thus they would be useless. I believe they said they didn't think they could even make a person who was born blind able to see. The brain needed to be wired for the task.
We'd need a computer that would somehow interface with our brains like what Dr. Octopus had in Spider-Man 2. (hopefully the violent insanity thing isn't a real issue)
Vision overlays could work. Isn't Google already doing something like this with their "Project Glass"?
Replacing missing limbs and enhancing strength is quite possible, although probably ridiculously expensive.
I don't know what will come first, however - regrowing biological limbs, or fully functional prosthesis.
"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
Robotic Pants Help Paralyzed Humans Walk Again
December 6, 2010, 3:13 PM
Researchers Help Severely Paralyzed Humans "Speak" With Their Thoughts
September 7, 2010, 12:45 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
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