Brain Implant Allows Finger Movement for Amputees Using Their Thoughts

Nick Kangadis | March 1, 2016
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(Image: Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Labratory)

Scientists have successfully devised a way for people with a prosthetic hand to be able to move the fingers individually using their thoughts!

The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET) reported that scientists at Johns Hopkins University have developed a way for patients to use their own brain waves to stimulate and move the fingers on their prosthetic hands individually.

Senior author Nathan Crone said in a press statement:

“We believe this is the first time a person using a mind-controlled prosthesis has immediately performed individual digit movements without extensive training. This technology goes beyond available prostheses, in which the artificial digits, or fingers, moved as a single unit to make a grabbing motion, like one used to grip a tennis ball.”

The research team at the Johns Hopkins Epilepsy Monitoring Unit enlisted the help of an epileptic young man to study “brain mapping.” The team placed 128 electrode sensors on the part of the brain that controls arm and hand movements.

After some tweaking, the team was able to achieve an 88 percent success rate over the course of two hours.

The research team said that these developments are certainly encouraging, but it will take years before the technologies hit a mainstream audience.

For the video showing a portion of the process, view below:



H/T: Journal of Neural Engineering