"Bryan Moss" <email@example.com> writes:
> Question: Can any neuroscience people comment on what would be involved in
> wiring amputees to computers and allowing them to control virtual arms
> and/or legs? Would this be easier to do to an amputee than a non-amputee?
Currently most work is being done using electromyograms, i.e. measuring electrical activity in muscles elsewhere and using it to control the prosthesis. There are prosthetics that actually try to measure signals in the nerves or cortex, but as far as I know they are highly experimental at this point. Advances in brain-computer interfaces seem to be moving quite quickly right now, with people making better biocompatible surfaces, adding nerve growth factors, getting neurons to grow through dies etc. At present, I think the level is roughly controlling the grip or gross movements using neural input.
Overall, amputees are more likely to participate in invasive studies than non-amputees, they have more to gain and less to lose. Although in my experience amputees and other handicapped people are less likely to accept everything the doctor says unquestioningly...
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