“In the shimmering fantasy realm of the hit movie ‘Avatar,’ a paraplegic Marine leaves his wheelchair behind and finds his feet in a new virtual world thanks to ‘the link,’ a sophisticated chamber that connects his brain to a surrogate alien, via computer.
“This type of interface is a classic tool in gee-whiz science fiction. But the hard science behind it is even more wow-inducing …
“At the root of all this technology is the 3-pound generator we all carry in our head. It produces electricity at the microvolt level. But the signals are strong enough to move robots, wheelchairs and prosthetic limbs – with the help of an external processor.
“Harnessing that power ‘opens up a whole new paradigm for us as human beings,’ says neuroscientist Rajesh Rao of the University of Washington …”
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