Completely paralyzed from the neck down she regained the ability to interact with the world thanks to the most advanced interface "brain — the computer."
In February, the patient's motor cortex were implanted two chips dimensions of 4 × 4 mm to 96 electrodes each. They are going through the skull leads to a computer that translates thoughts into signals for the robotic arm.
|Participant in the previous experiment Katie Hutchinson was able for the first time to drink itself after 15 years posleinsultnogo paralysis. (Photo of Brown University.)|
In May, researchers at Brown University (USA) reported that a paralyzed patient with a robotic prosthesis was able to perform simple daily tasks — for example, hold the mouth jar with a straw. Andrew Schwartz and Jennifer Kollinger University of Pittsburgh (USA) and their colleagues a step further: implanted twice the electron, and the patient was able to more complex movements.
Some experts warn that it is difficult to draw conclusions about the potential of technology as an example of a single event. Miguel Nicolelis of Duke University (USA), also notes that the more neurons is read, the more accurate and more complex manipulation of connected devices. But, alas, I can not say how many neurons actually has engaged a group of Pittsburgh.
An article published in the journal Lancet, describes the 13-week progress of women studying control the robotic arm. After implantation of electrodes she imagined that it was her own limbs. All this time, the computer recorded the neural activity in the motor cortex: this information was necessary for the most accurate interpretation of signals. Only after that included feedback: woman thought that would like to move his hand in some way, the prosthesis began to move, and the patient responded to the mentally right and wrong recognition of her thoughts.
Then began a period of full test and on the second day of the experiment the participant was able to move his arm in three dimensions. With practice, she learned to move the bricks and other objects on the table, and even raised the pound stone. The researchers set out to write an article, but she continued to work. Mr. Schwartz said that recently she was able to take a piece of chocolate and send it to his mouth.
Prosthesis, developed under contract with the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Ministry of Defense (DARPA), is equipped with 17 motors and 26 "joints." The authors do not exclude that this is the most difficult in the world of artificial limb. Team leader Michael McLoughlin of the Johns Hopkins University (Project Modular Prosthetic Limb) promises that in the future his Pittsburgh partners try to apply more than one hundred sensors, which has a hand. They can accommodate vibration, pressure, temperature, etc. The group is also working on a wireless version of that "out of my head did not stick the wire."
Prepared according to Technology Review.