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Bionic touch fails to shift location of subjective sensation to sensor position

Neural electrodes didn't offer precise sensation; posing challenges for prosthetics


Key points from article :

Bionic touch did not remap the brain in people whose amputated limbs were replaced with prosthetic limbs.

Highlights the limits in the ability of the nervous system to adapt to different sensory input.

"Neural electrodes don't land exactly in the nerve that would match the sensors in the prosthetic hand," - Max Ortiz Catalan, lead author.

"Brain would resolve the mismatch by shifting the perceived sensation to the thumb," - Catalan.

Three participants with above-elbow amputations were equipped with high-tech neuroprosthetic devices.

The sensation persisted in the same area where it was originally felt.

"For a year, subjects saw their prosthetic thumb touching things and felt it in a different location," - Sliman Bensmaia, senior author.

Highlights the importance of knowing exactly where to place electrodes when implanting neuroprosthetic devices.

Study by University of Chicago and Chalmers University of Technology published in Cell Reports.

Mentioned in this article:

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Cell Reports

Journal publishing research papers across a broad range of disciplines within the life sciences

Chalmers University of Technology

University located in Gothenburg, Sweden

Max Jair Ortiz Catalan

Scientist, Associate professor in Electrical Engineering

Sliman Bensmaia

Neuroscientist and professor at University of Chicago

The University of Chicago

Public Research university.

Topics mentioned on this page:
Prostheses, Brain Interface