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Brain cells learn to motor

  October 27/November 3, 2008
Connect brain cells to muscles and you have a way of restoring control over paralyzed limbs.

Monkeys that had cortex neurons wired to their temporarily paralyzed arms learned to use the brain cells to control their limbs. Muscles are usually controlled by motor neurons, and cortex neurons usually control thought, awareness and memory.

These artificial neural connections could restore control over paralyzed limbs, and could be used for brain-computer interfaces.

Research paper:
Direct Control of Paralysed Muscles by Cortical Neurons
Nature, published online October 15, 2008

Researchers' homepages:
Eberhard Fetz
Steve Perlmutter

Related stories and briefs:
Electronics link mind and body -- precursor research
Brain cells control 3D cursor -- related research

Back to TRN October 27/November 3, 2008

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