Control a Prosthetic Arm with Your Mind

Scientists found a way to control a prosthetic arm with one's mind. They connect the nerves from person's stump(end of a limb left after amputation) to muscles in his chest. It gives a person a wider range of movements that was not possible before.

Nate Bunderson was the one who presented the findings to the Society of Neuroscience conference in San Diego in November. He said "If you transfer the nerves [from the stump] to healthy muscles, then you can amplify the brain signals used to control the arm." Instead of sending signals to the arm, the
chest muscles sends signals to the computer, then the computer interprets the signals and send it to the prosthesis.

Mr. Sullivan was the first to undergo the surgery eight years ago and is doing great. Most amputees lose control of the nerves over time, because they can no longer control the muscles but Mr Sullivan's signals appear to become stronger. Mr Bunderson said: "Instead of having muscles interpret the neural command, we now have a computer trying to interpret the neural command and the brain has to adjust to that."

The technology is there, with more support I think we could have a good enough prosthesis to be considered as a replacement for the real thing. 


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