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Sci Transl Med. 2018 Mar 14;10(432). pii: eaao6990. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aao6990.

Illusory movement perception improves motor control for prosthetic hands.

Author information

1
Laboratory for Bionic Integration, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, ND20, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA. marascp2@ccf.org.
2
Advanced Platform Technology Center of Excellence, Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 10701 East Boulevard 151 W/APT, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.
3
Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E1, Canada.
4
Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Alberta Health Services, 10230-111 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T5G 0B7, Canada.
5
Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University of New Brunswick, 25 Dineen Drive, Fredericton, New Brunswick E3B 5A3, Canada.
6
Laboratory for Bionic Integration, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, ND20, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.
7
Research Service, Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 10701 East Boulevard, Research 151, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.
8
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology, 1 Castle Point Terrace, Hoboken, NJ 07030, USA.
9
Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 19700 Helix Drive, Ashburn, VA 20147, USA.
10
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta, Donadeo Innovation Center for Engineering, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G8, Canada.
11
Prosthetics and Sensory Aids Service, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 10701 East Boulevard, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.

Abstract

To effortlessly complete an intentional movement, the brain needs feedback from the body regarding the movement's progress. This largely nonconscious kinesthetic sense helps the brain to learn relationships between motor commands and outcomes to correct movement errors. Prosthetic systems for restoring function have predominantly focused on controlling motorized joint movement. Without the kinesthetic sense, however, these devices do not become intuitively controllable. We report a method for endowing human amputees with a kinesthetic perception of dexterous robotic hands. Vibrating the muscles used for prosthetic control via a neural-machine interface produced the illusory perception of complex grip movements. Within minutes, three amputees integrated this kinesthetic feedback and improved movement control. Combining intent, kinesthesia, and vision instilled participants with a sense of agency over the robotic movements. This feedback approach for closed-loop control opens a pathway to seamless integration of minds and machines.

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