publicado em 14/02/2013 às 09h30:00
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Neuroprosthesis makes mice able to "touch" infrared light

Work may become possible in the future to create prosthetics for people who have lost hearing or vision

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Perceiving invisible light through a somatosensory cortical prosthesis

Sensory neuroprostheses show great potential for alleviating major sensory deficits. It is not known, however, whether such devices can augment the subject' s normal perceptual range.

Here we show that adult rats can learn to perceive otherwise invisible infrared light through a neuroprosthesis that couples the output of a head-mounted infrared sensor to their somatosensory cortex (S1) via intracortical microstimulation.

Rats readily learn to use this new information source, and generate active exploratory strategies to discriminate among infrared signals in their environment.

S1 neurons in these infrared-perceiving rats respond to both whisker deflection and intracortical microstimulation, suggesting that the infrared representation does not displace the original tactile representation.

Hence, sensory cortical prostheses, in addition to restoring normal neurological functions, may serve to expand natural perceptual capabilities in mammals.

   Palavras-chave:   Neuroprosthesis    Sixth sense    Infrared light    Prostheses    Duke University    Miguel Nicolelis   
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Neuroprosthesis    sixth sense    infrared light    prostheses    Duke University    Miguel Nicolelis   
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