Research ArticleNEUROTECHNOLOGY

Illusory movement perception improves motor control for prosthetic hands

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Science Translational Medicine  14 Mar 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 432, eaao6990
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aao6990

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Good vibrations for movement perception

The ability to sense the spatial position and movements of one’s own body (kinesthetic sense) is critical for limb use. Because prostheses do not provide physical feedback during movement, amputees may not feel that they are in control of their bodily movements (sense of agency) when manipulating a prosthesis. Marasco et al. developed an automated neural-machine interface that vibrates the muscles used for control of prosthetic hands. This system instilled kinesthetic sense in amputees, allowing them to control prosthetic hand movements in the absence of visual feedback and increasing their sense of agency. This approach might be an effective strategy for improving motor performance and quality of life in amputees.