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Both alcoholism and chronic smoking can damage the brain's prefrontal cortex

$54.8 million will come to the University of Utah, which will get up to $4.8 million for the first two years and $10.3 million over all four years. About a third of that amount will flow to second-tier subcontractors: Ripple LLC in Salt Lake City and two branches of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Europe's largest applied research organization.

The University's Role in Creating a Better Artificial Arm

University of Utah researchers will focus on developing and testing a "peripheral nerve interface" ?an implanted device that would relay nerve impulses from nerves in the residual limb to a small computer worn on a belt and then to the bionic arm. That would allow a person to move the artificial limb like a real one. Sensors in the artificial arm would send signals to the computer and on to the interface device, which would relay the signals to nerves in the remainder of the amputated arm and then to the brain, allowing the person using it to sense the arm's motion and location, and to feel objects with the mechanical hand and fingers.

The neural interface device between the arm and the person wearing it would be implanted in what is left of the amputated arm or shoulder, and would send signals wirelessly to the artificial arm via the belt-pack computer. The interface device would use a modified Utah Electrode Array, a pill-sized device containing 100 tiny electrodes that was developed by University of Utah bioengineering Professor Richard Normann.

If the University of Utah interface device ultimately is chosen for the bionic arm, electrode arrays will be implanted in some or all of the four major nerves in the residual limbs of people with upper-arm amputations. Each of the 100 electrodes would selectively "listen" or "talk" to a small number of fibers in a nerve.

Researchers at other institutions, meanwhile, will develop the prosthetic arm itself and will study other kinds of neural interfaces that could operate the bionic ar
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Source:Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research


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