Sliman Bensmaia, PhD
University of Chicago
Biological and bionic hands: Natural neural coding and artificial perception
Our ability to manipulate objects dexterously relies fundamentally on sensory signals originating from the hand. To restore motor function with upper-limb neuroprostheses requires that somatosensory feedback be provided to the tetraplegic patient or amputee. To this end, we develop approaches to intuitively convey sensory information that is critical for object manipulation through electrical stimulation of the sensory areas of the brain.
Lee Miller, PhD
We zap the body electric: Restoring movement following paralysis with brain-controlled functional electrical stimulation
Spinal cord injury is devastating, and there is currently no real treatment. Ultimately we’d want to regrow the spinal cord, but in the meantime, it is now possible to literally reconnect the brain and muscles electronically. I will describe experiments in which we eavesdrop directly on signals in a monkey’s brain, translate them into appropriate control signals, and send them to an electrical stimulator that causes muscles to contract, thereby allowing voluntary control of paralyzed muscles.
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