The scientist may have found a new way to inject information into human brains directly, which, in turn, could pave way for better brain computer. Moreover, it is also believed that the process will enhance treatment for brain injuries, especially for those who have suffered a stroke.
As part of the study, which was published in the journal Neuron, a team of neuroscientist demonstrated how tiny electrical currents, deliver to a particular area of the brain, can dictate movements.
The team trained two rhesus monkeys to execute tasks based on visual instructions and movement. These monkeys were presented with four objects that were surrounded by light, which could be switched on or off.
When the experiment started, the monkeys, initially, grasped a handle in central position. Then, based on which lights to turn on, they moved the objects with their hands.
After the lights were switched on, the team would administer low levels of electrical stimulation to the monkeys' premotor cortex.
Later on, the researchers used a different point of stimulations in the brain for each of the four lights and movements, before the lights were taken away. The results showed that the monkeys were able to carry out correct movements based on microstimulation.
"The monkeys can't tell us what they are feeling, so training them to associate the microstimulation with a movement is the way we are able to confirm that they have felt an urge or had some kind of experience," Schieber tells in a statement to the journal Neuron.
These primates performed the task even when the pairing of microstimulation with a particular action was reshuffled to take the work to another level.
'Most of the work in the development of brain/computer interfaces has focused primarily on the sensory area of the brain, 'But that confines where in the brain you're able to deliver the information,' said lead author Kevin A Mazurek.
Mazurek is a postdoctoral fellow in Schieber's lab.