Monkey cyborg

  June 2/9, 2008
People have been able to control cursors on computer screens and monkeys have been able to control robotic arms using thought via signals picked up through electrodes implanted in the part of the brain that controls movement.

An experiment with monkeys takes the concept a step further by giving restrained monkeys the ability to feed themselves with a robotic arm. This marks the first time monkeys have used a robotic arm to interact with their environment. The work could lead to prosthetic limbs that function more like natural ones.

Research paper:
Cortical control of a prosthetic arm for self-feeding
Nature, published online May 28, 2008

Researcher's homepage:
Motorlab, University of Pittsburgh

Related stories and briefs:
Brain cells control 3D cursor (monkeys' brains control computer cursors in three dimensions)
Monkey think, cursor do (monkeys' brains control computer cursors)
Brainwave interface goes 2D (human brainwaves control computer cursors)

Back to TRN June 2/9, 2008

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