Instant neural control of a movement signal

Nature. 2002 Mar 14;416(6877):141-2. doi: 10.1038/416141a.


The activity of motor cortex (MI) neurons conveys movement intent sufficiently well to be used as a control signal to operate artificial devices, but until now this has called for extensive training or has been confined to a limited movement repertoire. Here we show how activity from a few (7-30) MI neurons can be decoded into a signal that a monkey is able to use immediately to move a computer cursor to any new position in its workspace (14 degrees x 14 degrees visual angle). Our results, which are based on recordings made by an electrode array that is suitable for human use, indicate that neurally based control of movement may eventually be feasible in paralysed humans.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Computers
  • Electrodes
  • Feedback
  • Hand / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Macaca mulatta / physiology*
  • Motor Cortex / cytology*
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Paralysis / rehabilitation