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.
Here's what one researcher said:
"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.]
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