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 March 2, 2015 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 March 2, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, March 2, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

Newsy (Mar. 1, 2015) Margaret Duffy of the University of Missouri talks about her study on the social network and the envy and depression that Facebook use can cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods to Battle Stress

The Best Foods to Battle Stress

Buzz60 (Feb. 26, 2015) If you&apos;re dealing with anxiety, there are a few foods that can help. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the best foods to tame stress. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Newsy (Feb. 26, 2015) People who sleep more than eight hours per night are 45 percent more likely to have a stroke, according to a University of Cambridge study. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 25, 2015) Washington&apos;s mayor says the District of Columbia will move forward with marijuana legalization, despite pushback from Congress. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
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