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July 14, 2015

Coordinating brain activity between patients and therapists could be the future of treatment for brain injuries and diseases.



monkey-brain-interface Miguel Nicolelis Duke Medicine

Are two brains better than one? I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Linking the brain activity of multiple animals helps them move computerized arms and complete simple computations better than each animal can by itself. Duke neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis and his colleagues report in the journal Scientific Reports that their discovery could lead to new treatments for brain injury and disease.

MIGUEL NICOLELIS (Duke University):

In the future you might be able to use brain-to-brain communication to help patients engage in neuro-rehab training paradigms.


Nicolelis’s lab helps paralyzed people move again with brain-controlled robotic suits, but learning to control the suits with thoughts is challenging. He says noninvasive brainwave sensors might one day connect patients’ brains with those of rehab professionals to make this training easier, the same way the animals benefited when paired with others. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Click here to read the original paper

Click here to learn about the lab doing the research