Charles Q. Choi
February 20, 2014
In work inspired partly by the movie “Avatar,” one monkey could control the body of another monkey using thought alone by connecting the brain of the puppet-master monkey to the spine of the other through a prosthesis, researchers say.
These findings could help lead to implants that help patients overcome paralysis, scientists added.
Paralysis due to nerve or spinal cord damage remains a challenge for current surgical techniques. Scientists are now attempting to restore movement to such patients with brain-machine interfaces that allow people to operatecomputers or control robotic limbs. [Monkey Avatars: Primates Move Virtual Arms with Mind (Video)]