Bionic Brain

People with spinal cord injuries can’t move because the brain and body no longer communicate. Scientists hope to restore motion with a mechanical skeleton controlled by the wearer’s thoughts. It’s a daunting challenge: Hundreds of sensors must be implanted in the brain to send commands to the exoskeleton. Signals must also travel in reverse, from touch sensors telling the brain where the body is in space.
JASON TREAT, NGM STAFF; ANTHONY SCHICK
ART: BRYAN CHRISTIE
SOURCES: MIGUEL NICOLELIS, DUKE UNIVERSITY; GORDON CHENG, INSTITUTE FOR COGNITIVE SYSTEMS, TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAT MÜNCHEN, GERMANY