Dating after spinal cord injury
“Due to the training that we created using brain activity to control devices directly but also providing very rich tactile feedback to patients and making them walk bipedally with our exoskeleton…we may actually have triggered a plastic reorganisation in the cortex.
“By re-inserting a representation of the lower limbs and locomotion in the cortex, these patients may have been able to transmit some of this information from the cortex through the spinal cord, through these very few nerves that may have survived the original trauma.
It was previously thought that the nerves in seven of the patients’ spines had been completely severed.
“This has been a tremendous journey, to start working on this phenomenal project over 15 years ago on ideas first demonstrated in animals, and that are now showing revolutionary theories of how the brain works.
“The Walk Again Project scientists are making real impact in helping impaired people walk again.
The training involved the patients using virtual reality to control a computer avatar with a “brain-machine interface”.
So when they thought about walking forward, the avatar would move as if it was their body.