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Medicine Science Technology

Scientists Create a Way For People With Amputations To Feel Their Prosthetics (gizmodo.com) 42

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: Prosthetic hands have gotten increasingly sophisticated. Many can recreate the complex shape and detail of joints and fingers, while powered prostheses allow for independent, willful movement. But a new study published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine offers a potential glimpse into the future of the technology: Artificial hands that actually feel like a living limb as they move. The researchers recruited people with amputations who had been given surgery that reconfigured certain muscle and sensory nerves surrounding the amputated limb, allowing them to control their prosthesis through intuitive brain signals (thoughts) sent to the repurposed nerves. Across a series of experiments involving three of these patients, the researchers attached devices that generated vibrations along specific muscles near the amputation site. When the device was turned on, these vibrations created an illusionary sense of kinesthesia -- an awareness of conscious self-movement -- in the prosthetic hand as the person performed tasks with it, both in a virtual stimulation and in the real world. The volunteers had amputations that extended just past their elbow as well as their whole arm. Not only did the experiment let them "feel" their hand as they opened and closed it, but the restored intuition allowed them to perform tasks without needing to constantly look at their hand. And coupled with vision, it gave them overall better motor control over their prosthesis.
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Scientists Create a Way For People With Amputations To Feel Their Prosthetics

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Permanent neural electrodes present a lot of problems. One is that, to trigger a nerve, enough charge has to be deposited to trigger enough neurons, reliably enough, for the sensation to be detected and learned as valid. That's worked well in stable structures like the cochlear, where the bony channel surrounding the electrodes localizes the charge, but hasn't worked so well for othe permanent electrodes. If the electrodes are in muscle, the relevant wires tend to be bulky and interfere with movement, or th

  • by Anonymous Coward

    this will solve the issue of people not treating their devices properly. Dropped your phone? A corresponding pain in your butt or whatever.

  • by Mr D from 63 ( 3395377 ) on Thursday March 15, 2018 @09:38AM (#56264179)
    I suppose a clever hacker might have you feel someone else's prosthetic.
    • Sensation hacking might be a new kink, but what about actually controlling it? What kind of new fun/trouble might that bring?

      "Can't let you near the president, ma'am, your prosthetic hasn't been secured with the latest microcode. If you would please turn it off and use your left hand when you greet him, the secret service would appreciate it."

  • not prostate. I must read gooder.

  • No replies to see and I keep getting 1 moderator point, which does not expire when I use it!

  • THIS IS FREAKING COOL!
  • intuitive brain signals (thoughts)

    Thoughts are conscious experiences. One might send a move signal to a muscle but not a thought.

    • Thoughts are conscious experiences.

      Perhaps in some definition sense, but the current neuroscience is increasingly showing that there are a huge array of unconscious processes that precede what we perceive to be deliberate actions.

  • Suddenly, with linux/chrome, when I click on a heading it takes me straight to posting, and I can't see any comments, though the header shows some. I even have mod points. Help!
    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

      Suddenly, with linux/chrome, when I click on a heading it takes me straight to posting, and I can't see any comments, though the header shows some. I even have mod points. Help!

      They make sure there are plenty of ads, but they don't care when the site messes up, or when some of those precious ads make the site almost unreadable by screwing up scrolling or keeping you from posting at all (anyone remember those?).

      • Yeah, I guess. Been a long time since I've seen any but an embedded ad get through my blockers. Obviously, it works again. The last month or so has been pretty strange for /.
  • ...I read an article [cnn.com] about this exact same technology. What improvements have been made since then?

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