Yes, but can they make the monkey vote Republican?
Researchers have taken a key step towards recovering specific brain functions in sufferers of brain disease and injuries by successfully restoring the decision-making processes in monkeys.
By placing a neural device onto the front part of the monkeys’ brains, the researchers, from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre, University of Kentucky and University of Southern California, were able to recover, and even improve, the monkeys’ ability to make decisions when their normal cognitive functioning was disrupted.
The study, which has been published today (Sept. 14) in IOP Publishing’s Journal of Neural Engineering, involved the use of a neural prosthesis, which consisted of an array of electrodes measuring the signals from neurons in the brain to calculate how the monkeys’ ability to perform a memory task could be restored.
In the delayed match-to-sample task an image was flashed onto a screen and, after a delay, the monkeys were prompted to select the same image on the screen from a sampling which included 1-7 other images.