Monkey's Thoughts Propel Robot, a Step That May Help HumansBy Blakeslee, Sandra; New York Times,
Publication Date: January 15, 2008
Article describes research conducted with the aim to achieve locomotion with a brain-machine interface. In an experiment designed and carried out at Duke University, a monkey was implanted with electrodes in the motor cortex of her brain; the electrodes recorded the activity of the neurons in her brain firing as she walked on a treadmill. Her walking pattern and brain signals were collected, fed into a computer and transmitted via the Internet to a robot designed to have the same range of motion as a human. The monkey was trained to move the robot via her own brain activity by observing it displayed on a large screen before her on a treadmill and making the robot’s joints move in synchrony with her own leg movements. At one point in the experiment, the treadmill was stopped and the robot was observed still to be moving, propelled by the monkey’s brain waves. The monkey’s motor cortex was demonstrated to have absorbed the representation of the robot’s legs as if they belonged to herself. Researchers contend these are first steps toward a brain-machine interface that would permit paralyzed people to walk by directing a device such as an exoskeleton, worn on the legs, with their thoughts.
Published by: New York Times Company (Website:http://www.nytco.com)
Link to text: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/15/science/15robo.html?scp=2&sq=brain%20machine%20interface&st=cse