Finger Prosthesis to Measures Brain Health from Virtual Touch

Finger Prosthesis to Measures Brain Health

New Study carried out in a collaboration between Swedish and Italian researchers reported the ability of brain to analyze how it interprets information from a virtual experience of touch, created by a finger prosthesis with artificial sensation.

Research team generated artificial touch experiences with a bionic fingertip. These artificial touch experiences were provided to the touch sensor nerves of the skin in the rat, as a kind of neuroscientific playback of information to the brain. Single neuron in the brain was able to convey much more information than was previously thought and can interact to generate potentially super rich representations of sensory stimuli.

Complex neural networks are involved in brain functioning. Neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, stroke and Parkinson’s, the function of these networks changes. This method could prove beneficial for measuring brain health. “This knowledge will be embodied into a novel generation of sensitive robotic hands able to convey fine tactile information to amputees,” said lead bioroboticist Calogero Oddo. “Such robotic arms with human-like richness of touch are also being used to perform complex tasks in surgical robots, rescue, services, and industry.”

The prosthesis was made to touch various objects, which generate different patterns of electrical signals. These were subsequently fed into a part of the paw of an anesthetized rat. Researchers were able to measure the reactions in the neuronal networks with the help of electrodes. Reactions were recorded at very high resolution, as the electrical signals were carefully controlled, and could therefore be delivered multiple times with exact reproducibility.

According to Brain Health Devices Market report published by Coherent Market Insights, Brain health devices are used in the treatment of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer disease and other dementias, epilepsy, cerebrovascular diseases, including stroke, migraine, and other headache disorders. This method can be used for studying role of neurons inside a healthy brain and in animal models with different neurological diseases. The brain’s response to sensory impressions can therefore reflect the health of the entire brain.

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