Paving the way for thought-controlled prostheses
A group of neuroscientists led by a researcher supported by € 1.6 million in EU funds believes that the part of the brain empowering humans to drive a car or ride a bike has the potential to be trained and allow them to control the movement of implanted prosthetic devices. Their findings, based on experiments with rats, might open the door to the development of thought-controlled prostheses restoring normal mobility levels for people with spinal cord injuries, amputations and other disabilities.
The rats were fitted with a brain-machine interface that converted brain waves into auditory tones. To get the food reward – either sugar-water or pellets – the rats had to modulate their thought patterns.
Nature has recently published an article on the reported scientific findings.
The scientist, Rui Costa, has received € 100,000 from the Marie Curie Actions, an EU research fund managed by the REA, and around € 1.5 million from a "starting grant" of the European Research Council (ERC). More