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Motor systems

Bimanual bionics

Brain–machine interfaces (BMIs) have the potential to restore movement in paralysed limbs by monitoring the readout from motor areas and using these signals to control mechanical prosthetics. Although control of individual arms has been achieved, coordinated bimanual control has not been possible to date. In rhesus monkeys, cortical activity patterns related to bimanual movement were decoded and transmitted to a bimanual BMI. With practice, the monkeys' performance in manual tasks improved and was accompanied by widespread cortical plasticity, suggesting that cortical networks are able to adapt to the bimanual BMI. These findings could enable the development of more advanced BMIs.


  1. Ifft, P. J. et al. A brain-machine interface enables bimanual arm movements in monkeys. Sci. Transl. Med. 5, 210ra154 (2013)

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Lewis, S. Bimanual bionics. Nat Rev Neurosci 15, 2 (2014).

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