A new study by neuroscientists at the University of Chicago shows how amputees can learn to control a robotic arm through electrodes implanted in the brain.
The research, published in Nature Communications, details changes that take place in both sides of the brain used to control the amputated limb and the remaining, intact limb. The results show both areas can create new connections to learn how to control the device, even several years after an amputation.
“That’s the novel aspect to this study, seeing that chronic, long-term amputees can learn to control a robotic limb,” said Nicho Hatsopoulos, PhD, professor of organismal biology and anatomy at UChicago and senior author of the study. “But what was also interesting was the brain’s plasticity over long-term exposure, and seeing what happened to the connectivity of the network as they learned to control the device.”
Previous experiments have shown how paralyzed human patients can move robotic limbs through a brain machine interface. The new study is one of the first to test the viability of these devices in amputees as well.
The researchers worked with three rhesus monkeys who suffered injuries at a young age and had to have an arm amputated to rescue them four, nine and 10 years ago, respectively. Their limbs were not amputated for the purposes of the study. In two of the animals, the researchers implanted electrode arrays in the side of the brain opposite, or contralateral, to the amputated limb. This is the side that used to control the amputated limb. In the third animal, the electrodes were implanted on the same side, or ipsilateral, to the amputated limb. This is the side that still controlled the intact limb.
The monkeys were then trained (with generous helpings of juice) to move a robotic arm and grasp a ball using only their thoughts. The scientists recorded the activity of neurons where the electrodes were placed, and used a statistical model to calculate how the neurons were connected to each other before the experiments, during training and once the monkeys mastered the activity.
The connections between neurons on the contralateral side—the side that had been controlling the amputated arm—were sparse before the training, most likely because they had not been used for that function in a long time. But as training progressed, these connections became more robust and dense in areas used for both reaching and grasping.
On the ipsilateral side—the side that had been controlling the monkey’s intact arm—the connections were dense at the beginning of the experiments. But the researchers saw something interesting as training progressed: first the connections were pruned and the networks thinned, before rebuilding into a new, dense network.
“That means connections were shedding off as the animal was trying to learn a new task, because there is already a network controlling some other behavior,” said Karthikeyan Balasubramanian, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher who led the study. “But after a few days it started rebuilding into a new network that can control both the intact limb and the neuroprosthetic.”
Now the team plans to continue their work by combining it with research by other groups to equip neuroprosthetic limbs with sensory feedback about touch and proprioception, which is the sense of where the limb is located in space.
“That’s how we can begin to create truly responsive neuroprosthetic limbs, when people can both move it and get natural sensations through the brain machine interface,” Hatsopoulos said.
The Latest on: Neuroprosthetics
[google_news title=”” keyword=”neuroprosthetics” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
- Neuroprosthetics Market 2023 Research Report which Shows Huge Growth Rate, Revenue, Progress Insight and Forecast to 2028on February 2, 2023 at 11:06 pm
Feb 03, 2023 (The Expresswire) -- "Final Report will add the analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on this industry. Global “Neuroprosthetics Market” ...
- Digital Foot Could Enhance Neuroprostheticson February 1, 2023 at 10:07 am
The Footsim digital sole model created by U.K., Canadian, and Swiss researchers can map the signals continuously streaming from the foot to the brain as a tool for refining neuroprosthetics.
- Digital foot could revolutionize bionic limbs and other assistive technologieson February 1, 2023 at 6:40 am
A digital foot sole that enables scientists to see the neurological signals that control how we walk and maintain balance, has been developed by researchers at the University of Sheffield.
- Global Online Doctor Consultation Market Size & Share Revenue Is Predicted to Reach $15375.16 Million by 2028, Grow at a CAGR of 26.10on February 1, 2023 at 5:13 am
According to Zion Market Research has published a new research report titled "Online Doctor Consultation Market By Indication (Cardiology, Dermatology, Diabetes ...
- North America Neuroprosthetics Market By Trends, Latest Research, Industry Competition Analysis, Revenue And Forecast Till 2023-2033on January 30, 2023 at 3:10 pm
CRIFAX added a report on 'North America Neuroprosthetics Market Analysis Report, 2023-2033' to its database of market research collaterals consisting of overall market scenario with prevalent and ...
- 15 Biggest Neuroscience Companies in the Worldon January 30, 2023 at 6:40 am
In this article, we will discuss the 15 Biggest Neuroscience Companies in the World. You can skip our industry overview and go directly to the 5 Biggest Neuroscience Companies in the World. As the ...
- Neuroprosthetics Market Size 2023 With Rising Demand, Ultimatum For The Market Plannedon January 28, 2023 at 7:59 pm
Neuroprosthetics Market 2023 with 107 Pages Report and enhance with extents shares into sub-counties are covered in ...
- Neuroprosthetics Market Share, Growth By Business Developments 2023 To 2057on January 24, 2023 at 4:06 am
An overview of the Global Neuroprosthetics Market Size, Status, and Forecast. The readers will obtain a knowledge of the important players competing in this region. This paper examined the ...
- Neuroprosthetics Market is Going to Hit at a CAGR of 14.1% by 2028on January 11, 2023 at 11:37 am
An international Neuroprosthetics market analysis document offers an examination of a range of segments that are relied upon to witness the quickest development amid the estimate forecast frame.
- Neuroprosthetics Market Is Set To Experience A Significant Growth Of 12.4% CAGR From 2022 To 2031on December 28, 2022 at 11:48 pm
The report predicts the global Neuroprosthetics Market to grow at a healthy CAGR over the forecast period from 2022-2031. “Neuroprosthetics market projected to grow at a CAGR of 12.4%” The ...
via Google News and Bing News