Monkeys control robotic arm with their thoughts

Scientists have trained monkeys to manipulate a robotic arm solely with brain power, and they soon could help amputees and paralyzed stroke victims do the same, AFP reports. Immobilized monkeys with electrode filaments inserted into their cerebral cortext learned in only days to reach out with the free-standing prosthesis, pluck a tasty morsel with a pincer-like claw, and pop it in their mouths. When the path of the arm–positioned next to the shoulder–was deliberately blocked, the animals simply willed it around the obstacle with their minds, says a study published May 28 in the journal Nature. "The entire task is now performed with brain control," Andrew Schwartz, the lead researcher and a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, told AFP…

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