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Virtual Dictionary


A neuroprosthetic is quite simply an artificial prosthetic device which interfaces with the central nervous system. A prosthetic either on the surface of, or buried deep inside the brain, in other words.

Neuroprosthetics in general are intended to help in a wide range of issues. Current-generaltion neuroprosthetics are first and foremost medical devices, intended to mend damaged brain function, augment the brain with new capabilities, and allow the control of networked computer systems with pure thought.

They come in two general types:

Neural Readers detect the minute electrical signals passed between neurons in the regions immediately adjacent to their electrodes, and relay those back to a control computer. These types of neuroprosthetic are used to enable the individual to control electronic devices by thought, or embody themselves in an avatar of some kind, physical or virtual, whilst completely bypassing their own body.

Neurostimulators take the opposite tack. They broadcast an electrical signal to every neuron in proximity to the electrode tip. They can be used to excite only a small group of neurons, or an entire brain region. Typically they are mainly used for controlling dysfunctional brain regions, by sending out a signal to effectively reset the area once it begins to spiral out of control.

The most common use of a neurostimulator is thus to suppress epileptic fits before they take hold.

If you combine a neural reader and a neurostimulator, you should in theory get a two-way neuroprosthetic. Input and output in one. However the common problem faced with such an interface device is that the stimulator tends to flood the local area with its signal every time it writes back, so the reader ends up detecting nothing but the signal the stimulator just sent.

This is an area we will need to fully master if neuroprosthetic I/O is to be truly useful.

See Also: Neural Imaging, Brain Computer Interface, Brain Machine Interface, Deep Brain Stimulator, Brain Implant , Neurofeedback, EEG, EcoG, MEG, Micro-ECoG, Virtual Embodiment, Embodiment, Neural Oscillation, Brainwave Baseline, Neuroenhancement

Below, we offer a selection of links from our resource databases which may match this term.

Related Dictionary Entries for Neuroprosthetic:


Axon Tip





Brain Computer Interface

Brain Implant

Brain Mapping

Brain To Brain

Brain-Computer Interface

Brainwave Baseline

Cognitive Enhancer




Deep Brain Stimulation

Deep Brain Stimulator


Diffusion MRI


Event Related Optical Signal

Event Related Potential

Heart Rate Variability


Human Enhancement

Implanted Pulse Generator

Invasive BCI

Invasive BMI

Inverse Problem



Mind Hacking


Multiple Origin Spatio-Temporal EEG


Myelin Sheath

Neural Feedback

Neural Prosthetic










Non-invasive BCI

Non-invasive BMI

Non-invasive Neuroprosthetic

Optogenetic Microdevice


Partially-invasive BCI

Partially-invasive BMI

Pick Device



Steady-State Visually Evoked Potential





Resources in our database matching the Term Neuroprosthetic:

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Neuroprosthetic Issues
A look at the fundamental problems plaguing the development of neuroprosthetic devices.

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Hooking Neuroprosthetics to the limbs
A story about the state of tech at the end of 2006. Neuroprosthetic devices had some concrete success stories in the past few years, and the stage was finally set for developing them, not to just monitor and interact with brain signals, but control external body parts as well.

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Speeding Peripheral Nerve Machine Interfaces
Discussion of a possible hardware-based neuroprosthetic interface method designed to maximise speed gain in body-machine sensory interfaces.

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Optics and Neuroprosthetics
A new tack in neuroprosthetic interfaces is being born out of pulses of light rather than electricity. Termed 'optogenetic neuromodulation, the technique is being pioneered in the hope that it will enable a far greater level of accuracy and single-cell stimulation than is possible with electrode interfaces.

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Neuroprosthetics Powered by the Brain
Powering a neuroprosthetic is a tricky issue. As most of these devices are implanted either on the surface of the brain, or deep inside its folds, it is not a trivial matter to pop it out and change the battery. But, what if the same sugar that feeds the brain, could also feed the prosthetic?

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Two-Way Data Neuroprosthetic Implants
IMEC, a nanotechnology company out of Leuven, Belgium, has developed a new approach to neuroprosthetics, an electrode probe that is capable of two-way data transfer. It can read neighbouring electrical impulses, and at the same time, transmit new impulses back.

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Using Brain Control Interfaces as Rehabilitation Therapy
It was long suspected but never proven that attaching a neuroprosthetic to the brain, was a valid way of providing therapy, and inspiring growth in the organ. Never proven until now, that is.

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Optogenetics and Neuroprosthetics Combine
Optogenetics as a field of study, is only a few years old but already a means has been found to make use of it in living brains. Light-detecting proteins combined with gene therapy and an optical neuroprosthetic with a BrainGate style 3D array allow true two-way communication between the brain and a computer system.

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NeuroPhone is exactly what it sounds like - a neuroprosthetic mobile phone. Developed by Tanzeem Choudhury, Rajeev Raizada and Andrew Campbell of Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, the phone makes use of an EEG helmet and the P300 response to make phone calls.


Industry News containing the Term Neuroprosthetic:

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University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine researchers have engineered living human nerve cells into three-dimensional neural networks with the potential to survive transplantation.

Whilst simple in lattice structure, the...

Researchers at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Columbia University have generated motor neurons from reprogrammed skin cells of an elderly patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The study shows iPS cells can be...

With electrodes implanted directly in their brains, two Madison patients were able to control a computer cursor and play a video game just by thinking.

Hardly news, you would think. There has been a lot of this over the last ...

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Blind Patient Reads Words Stimulated Directly Onto the Retina - Nov. 23, 2012

In a concerted effort to understand exactly how memories are formed and stored, the activity of hundreds of mouse brain cells have been simultaneously recorded using a specially developed 96-channel electrode array neuroprosthetic.