This is pretty cool. The title says it all… well maybe it should be plug then play a few days later since there is still a learning curve. However the idea that you can attach a prosthetic to some neurons and eventually you’ll have a cortical map form so your brain can repeat the same actions – fire those same neurons in the same pattern to control the device over and over again.
But there is a further element of coolness (excluding the fact that the monkeys are exploitmented on – dont know a solution for that one) in that once researches figured out a mapping between neurons, brain signal patterns and intended control, the monkeys could adapt to different mappings that had the weightings in the mapping a little ‘off’. So basically the cortical map the brain formed had adapted too.
The downside is that the implementation currently is still in the lab stages. And its attaching directly to your brain so only people looking for permanent solutions (ie those with disabilities) need apply. But it is a step in the right direction to be able to interact more efficiently with machines and eventually and more importantly, interact with each other.