Neuroscientists have found that the brain is more flexible and trainable than previously thought, opening the door to development of thought-controlled prosthetic devices to help people with spinal cord injuries, amputations and other impairments. The study advances work by researchers who have been studying the brain circuits used in natural movement, to mimic them for the development of prosthetic devices. The insights suggest that learning to control a BMI (brain-machine interface), which is inherently unnatural, may feel completely normal to a person, because this learning is using the brains existing built-in circuits for natural motor control. The rats were fitted with a brain-machine interface that converted EEG brain waves into auditory tones.
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