Monkeys Demonstrate Mind Over Matter

It sounds like science fiction (search), but researchers at Duke University have demonstrated that lab monkeys with tiny brain implants can control the movement of an artificial limb — just by thinking about it.

In the study, a monkey played a video game using a joystick while a computer recorded his brain signals. The game controlled a robotic arm in another room.

After a while, the joystick was unplugged so the limb was no longer manually operated but instead controlled only by the animal's brain signals.

The monkey quickly learned that he could still play the game — and thus control the artificial limb — merely by thinking about it. Duke University Medical Center (search) researchers were stunned.

The study might offer hope for human victims of paralysis (search).

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