When we say that science has figured out a way to have brain-controlled devices help paralysis, we don't mean to cure it (yet), unfortunately. We mean to help those with paralysis live day-to-day life!
We're talking moving objects with your mind, because mentally controlling artificial limbs and mobility devices would be a big step forward toward more independent living.
"We can literally influence the wiring of the brain, rewiring the brain, so to speak, to allow them to make new neural connections, and hopefully to restore movement to a paralyzed arm."
About 6 million Americans live with paralysis, so any advancement in this field would be warmly welcomed. Advancements like, perhaps, a rhesus monkey in North Carolin, using only its brain, controlling the walking patterns of a robot in Japan. Or a monkey to move a virtual arm and feel sensations from it.
Both of those things have happened.
How about using the oxygen levels in a certain part of the brain to create a system of allowing a person to say "yes" and "no" just by thinking? The original hardware for a device that utilizes this technique has already been developed by Hitachi.
The coolest thing, we'd say, is that researchers are looking at a rehabilitation robot called an exoskeleton, a device that a person sits in to be able to move limbs using the brain signal corresponding to a person thinking about moving.
Science is mind-blowing, no joke — we can't wait to see all of this implemented!
[Image via AP Images.]