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Mind over matter helps paralysed woman control robotic arm

•, Ian Sample
 A woman who is paralysed from the neck down has stunned doctors with her extraordinary skill at using a robotic arm that is controlled by her thoughts alone.

The 52-year-old patient, called Jan, lost the use of her limbs more than 10 years ago to a degenerative disease that damaged her spinal cord. The disruption to her nervous system was the equivalent to having a broken neck.

But in training sessions at the University of Pittsburgh, doctors found she quickly learned to make fluid movements with the brain-controlled robotic arm, reaching levels of performance never seen before.

Doctors recruited the woman to test a robotic arm that is controlled by a new kind of computer program that translates the natural brain activity used to move our limbs into commands to move the robotic arm.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ed Price
Entered on:

Can't wait until they figure out how to do it directly, mental kinetics, without nerves or machinery.

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