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Retraining the Brain to Recover Movement

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One promising approach involves circumventing neuronal damage by establishing connections between healthy areas of the brain and virtual devices, called brain–machine interfaces (BMIs), programmed to transform neural impulses into signals that can control a robotic device... And they suggest how to compensate for delays and other limitations inherent in robotic devices to improve performance... While other studies have focused on discrete areas of the brain—the primary motor cortex in one case and the parietal cortex in another—Nicolelis et al. targeted multiple areas in both regions to operate robotic devices, based on evidence indicating that neurons involved in motor control are found in many areas of the brain... The researchers gathered data on both brain signals and motor coordinates—such as hand position, velocity, and gripping force—to create multiple models for the BMI... When the researchers combined all the motor parameter models to optimize the control of the robotic arm through the BMI, they fixed those parameters and transferred control to the BMI and away from the monkeys' direct manipulation via a pole... Amazingly, when the researchers removed the pole, the monkeys were able to make the robotic arm reach and grasp without moving their own arms, though they did have visual feedback on the robotic arm's movements... Even more surprising, the monkeys' ability to manipulate the arm through “brain control” gradually improved over time... One way the brain retains flexibility in responding to multiple tasks is through visual feedback... This feedback may help integrate intention and action—including the action of the robotic arm—in the brain, allowing the monkey to get better at manipulating the robotic arm without moving... By charting the relationship between neural signals and motor movements, Nicolelis et al. demonstrate how BMIs can work with healthy neural areas to reconfigure the brain's motor command neuronal elements and help restore intentional movement... These findings, they say, suggest that such artificial models of arm dynamics could one day be used to retrain the brain of a patient with paralysis, offering patients not only better control of prosthetic devices but the sense that these devices are truly an extension of themselves.

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Monkey learns to control BMI
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pbio.0000055-g001: Monkey learns to control BMI


Retraining the Brain to Recover Movement
Monkey learns to control BMI
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC261892&req=5

pbio.0000055-g001: Monkey learns to control BMI

View Article: PubMed Central

AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED EXCERPT
Please rate it.

One promising approach involves circumventing neuronal damage by establishing connections between healthy areas of the brain and virtual devices, called brain–machine interfaces (BMIs), programmed to transform neural impulses into signals that can control a robotic device... And they suggest how to compensate for delays and other limitations inherent in robotic devices to improve performance... While other studies have focused on discrete areas of the brain—the primary motor cortex in one case and the parietal cortex in another—Nicolelis et al. targeted multiple areas in both regions to operate robotic devices, based on evidence indicating that neurons involved in motor control are found in many areas of the brain... The researchers gathered data on both brain signals and motor coordinates—such as hand position, velocity, and gripping force—to create multiple models for the BMI... When the researchers combined all the motor parameter models to optimize the control of the robotic arm through the BMI, they fixed those parameters and transferred control to the BMI and away from the monkeys' direct manipulation via a pole... Amazingly, when the researchers removed the pole, the monkeys were able to make the robotic arm reach and grasp without moving their own arms, though they did have visual feedback on the robotic arm's movements... Even more surprising, the monkeys' ability to manipulate the arm through “brain control” gradually improved over time... One way the brain retains flexibility in responding to multiple tasks is through visual feedback... This feedback may help integrate intention and action—including the action of the robotic arm—in the brain, allowing the monkey to get better at manipulating the robotic arm without moving... By charting the relationship between neural signals and motor movements, Nicolelis et al. demonstrate how BMIs can work with healthy neural areas to reconfigure the brain's motor command neuronal elements and help restore intentional movement... These findings, they say, suggest that such artificial models of arm dynamics could one day be used to retrain the brain of a patient with paralysis, offering patients not only better control of prosthetic devices but the sense that these devices are truly an extension of themselves.

No MeSH data available.