The array of 128 electrode sensors was placed on the part of the brain responsible for hand and arm movements. A computer program was used to interpret the data streaming from the implant, triggering the individual fingers to move.


Initial accuracy of the system was 76 percent, but refinements allowed the researchers to bump it up to 88 percent. The part of the brain that controls the pinkie and ring fingers overlaps (which explains why many people move them together). By coupling these two fingers together, the researchers were able to improve overall accuracy.

No pre-training was required for the patient to familiarize himself with the device, and the whole thing took less than two hours. It’s all very exciting and impressive, but the researchers say it’ll still be many years and many more refinement before we see the technology move to prime time.

[Journal of Neural Engineering]

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