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Researchers Helping Pentagon Build Mind-Controlled Prosthetics

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cellular image

The FARSIGHT toolkit can analyze cellular images and translates them into data that can help identify factors that cause neural implants to fail prematurely.

Credit: Farsight

A U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency-funded multi-institution research project aims to develop mind-controlled prosthetic devices that will not break down for the user's entire life. The team includes researchers from the University of Houston (UH), Seattle Children's Research Institute, the University of Michigan, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).

The project will start with University of Michigan researchers constructing specialized neural implants to be used in lab tests. Seattle Institute researchers will then take three-dimensional images of how brain cells react to the implants. Those images will be sent to UH, where a team led by professor Badrinath Roysam will analyze them with a program called FARSIGHT, which examines the cellular composition of the images. The program translates the images into data that illustrates how each brain cell responds to the implant. RPI researchers then will use pattern-recognition software to find factors that contribute to implant failure, information they will use to recommend design changes. "Ideally, the team will be able to make great strides in the understanding of neural implant failure," Roysam says.

From University of Houston News
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Abstracts Copyright © 2011 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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