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Health Agencies Update
December 20, 2000

Brain-Powered Prosthetics

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JAMA. 2000;284(23):2987. doi:10.1001/jama.284.23.2987-JHA00013-2-1

Research aimed at literally transforming thought into deed holds out hope that people with paralysis and other severe motor disorders will be able to use neural signals from the brain to control prosthetic limbs, according to a research team led by scientists at Duke University School of Medicine (Nature. 2000;408:361-366).

The researchers, funded by the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies, implanted 32 or 96 tiny electrodes in the premotor, primary motor, and posterior parietal cortical areas of the brains of two owl monkeys, and repeatedly recorded the activity of the neurons when the animals reached for bits of food.

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