"This is a fundamentally new approach that can be further refined and optimised to give brain-controlled prostheses greater performance, and therefore greater clinical viability," Shenoy noted. When we type or perform other precise tasks, our brains and muscles usually work together effortlessly. But when a neurological disease or spinal cord injury severs the connection between the brain and limbs, once-easy motions become difficult or impossible.
In recent years, researchers have sought to give people suffering from injury or disease some restored motor function by developing thought-controlled prostheses. Such devices tap into the relevant regions of the brain, bypass damaged connections and deliver thought commands to devices such as virtual keypads. The findings appeared in the journal Nature Communications.