7T MRI shows brains feeling sensation in long lost limbs

Researchers using powerful 7 Tesla MRI have gotten a peek inside the brains of amputees as they process phantom sensations years after the loss of their limbs.

The team, at the University of Oxford’s Hand and Brain Lab in the U.K., say their findings could help hasten the development of neuroprosthetic limbs controlled directly by the brain.

The work may remove a barrier: the assumption that amputees eventually lose the brain area that would control the prosthetic.

“If the brain retains a representation of the individual fingers,” says co-author Sanne Kikkert, “this could be exploited to provide the fine-grained control needed.’

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