Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The Mind May Help Restore Movement To The Immobile

Date:
June 10, 2002
Source:
The Neurosciences Institute
Summary:
Moving objects just by thinking. That's something people do almost every time they move their bodies. Scientific work over the last 20 years has shown how neurons in the brain behave when we move our arms. More recently, this work has led to demonstrations of technology that may restore movement to the immobile.

SAN DIEGO - Moving objects just by thinking. That's something people do almost every time they move their bodies. Scientific work over the last 20 years has shown how neurons in the brain behave when we move our arms. More recently, this work has led to demonstrations of technology that may restore movement to the immobile.

Related Articles


Reporting in the Friday, June 7, issue of the journal, Science, scientists from The Neurosciences Institute here, in conjunction with the Department of Bioengineering at Arizona State University, have recently examined arrays of electrodes implanted in the cerebral cortex of monkeys. They record the electrical discharges of 50-80 individual brain cells as a small sample of the billions of neurons that communicate with each other during movement. The signals intercepted by these electrodes are sent to a computer where they are 'decoded' or matched to different arm movements.

This code is saved in the computer, and used by the animal to move a ball or spherical cursor through a virtual space to a specified target without using its arms. Monkeys 'learn' this task by changing the way these neurons code for movement direction.

"This is the first time learning has been directly visualized at the level of individual neurons in a movement task," said Andrew Schwartz of The Neurosciences Institute. "By tracking these changes with an adaptive decoding algorithm, both the subject and the computer program learn together. This approach leads to very good performance, allowing subjects to move the cursor with direct 'brain control' almost as well as they can with their hands free."

The research team, comprised of Andrew B. Schwartz with the Institute, and Dawn M. Taylor and Stephen I. Helms Tillery, of the Department of Bioengineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, plans to replace the virtual cursor with a robot arm that will be used by a monkey to reach and retrieve food while its own arms are restrained. Through a sort of 'neural bypass', it is hoped that this approach can be used by human patients with paralyzed arms. As work progresses, functional electrical stimulation of the patients muscles may allow them to use their own limbs instead of robotic devices.

The Neurosciences Institute focuses its research on the fundamental principles of functions of the brain, which is the single most complex organ in the known universe. The Institute is a small, privately funded, not-for-profit organization that utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to scientific investigation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Neurosciences Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Neurosciences Institute. "The Mind May Help Restore Movement To The Immobile." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 June 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/06/020607072445.htm>.
The Neurosciences Institute. (2002, June 10). The Mind May Help Restore Movement To The Immobile. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/06/020607072445.htm
The Neurosciences Institute. "The Mind May Help Restore Movement To The Immobile." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/06/020607072445.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins