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Amputees help advance thought-controlled prosthetic technology
Amputees help advance thought-controlled prosthetic technology

One minute, Anne Mekalian's brain is telling her prosthetic arm to unstack a set of multicolored plastic cones, and the shiny black metal limb is listening. Every now and then, the plastic clatters to the table, but quickly the cones are separated and restored to a neat pile. The next moment, though, the bionic hand doesn't know what to make of slight muscle movements in Mekalian's forearm, interpreted through a set of electrodes touching the skin on the rounded remnant limb that extends just below her elbow. Instead of pinching a red clothespin, the robotic hand spins like Linda Blair's head in "The Exorcist." "This is why it's experimental,...

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