It’s a pretty incredible study in itself, but the researchers believe it could have some really important applications within the realm of brain-computer interfaces and neuroprosthetics. In the shorter term, it could also help increase our understanding of people whose brains have lost connections due to injury, stroke, or disease.
"Most of the work in the development of brain-computer interfaces has focused primarily on the sensory area of the brain. But that confines where in the brain you're able to deliver the information," added first author Kevin A. Mazurek, a postdoctoral fellow in Schieber's lab.
“In this study, we show you can expand the neural real estate that can be targeted with therapies. This could be very important for people who have lost function in areas of their brain due to stroke, injury, or other disease. We can potentially bypass the damaged part of the brain where connections have been lost and deliver information to an intact part of the brain."