Apr 10, 2018

Brain implants put paralyzed man back in touch with himself

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, neuroscience

Researchers at Caltech have induced a range of sensations in the arm of a paralyzed man. The breakthrough comes courtesy of electrodes implanted in the brain, which stimulated the neurons to produce different feelings depending on the type of electrical signals. The team says the research could eventually lead to advanced prosthetic limbs that allow users to feel realistic sensations through them.

Plenty of exciting research is being conducted to help paralyzed people regain control of and feeling in their limbs. The NeuroLife system has helped a quadriplegic man move his arms again using just his thoughts, allowing him to perform a number of actions. Electrical nerve stimulation, both with and without electrode implants, has helped several people voluntarily move their legs again, often for the first time in years.

In this new study, Caltech researchers implanted two tiny arrays of electrodes into the somatosensory cortex, the small region of the brain responsible for the body’s sensations of movement or position, as well as cutaneous sensations such as touch, pressure and vibration.

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