Monkey Controls Another Chemically Paralyzed Monkey’s Movements with His Brain
The research team developed and tested a prosthesis that connects two subjects (monkeys) by enabling one subject to send its recorded neural activity to control limb movements in a different subject that is temporarily sedated. The demonstration is a step forward in making brain-machine interfaces for paralyzed humans to control their own limbs using their brain activity alone. The concept: when paralyzed patients imagine or plan a movement, neurons in the brain’s motor cortical areas still activate, even though the communication link between the brain and muscles is broken. By implanting sensors in these brain areas, neural activity could be recorded and translated to the patient’s desired movement using a mathematical transform called the decoder. These interfaces could allow patients to generate movements directly with their thoughts.