Implants Dupe Brain into Feeling Touch: Experiments in Monkeys Could Lead to Sensitive Prosthetics

By Sanders, Laura | Science News, November 16, 2013 | Go to article overview

Implants Dupe Brain into Feeling Touch: Experiments in Monkeys Could Lead to Sensitive Prosthetics


Sanders, Laura, Science News


Tickling the brain in just the right spot can create the sensation of touch. By zapping monkeys' brains with electrodes, scientists tricked the animals into feeling a poke.

The feat, described October 14 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offers a blueprint for creating advanced prosthetics that meld with the brain (see Page 22). Restoring touch to people who have lost limbs or are paralyzed is one of the biggest goals in prosthetic design, says study coauthor Sliman Bensmaia of the University of Chicago.

Without the sense of touch, everyday tasks like cracking egg, holding a coffee cup or folding a newspaper are nearly impossible. Touch is also important for forging emotional connections and for the sensation of body ownership.

Bensmaia and his team first trained rhesus macaques to report by looking in a certain direction which of their fingers was being touched. Electrodes implanted in an animal's somatosensory cortex--a brain area that handles tactile feedback from the body--simultaneously detected which neurons were active when an animal felt a precisely placed touch.

Then the scientists bypassed the finger and instead went straight to the brain. By zapping the finger-sensing neurons, the scientists tricked the monkeys into thinking they were being touched. "We are trying to mimic natural signals in the brain," Bensmaia says.

The animals couldn't describe the quality of the sensation, but the directions they looked in suggested that they experienced the electrode-induced artificial touch in the same way as the real thing. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Implants Dupe Brain into Feeling Touch: Experiments in Monkeys Could Lead to Sensitive Prosthetics
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.