Neuroprosthetics and the Future of Artificial Touch

Modern medicine can do extraordinary things – but how? This week, the Curiosity Podcast welcomes Dr. Sliman Bensmaia to explain how scientists are able to develop prosthetic devices that someday may be able to transmit a realistic sense of touch to their owners. An associate professor in the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy at the University of Chicago, Dr. Bensmaia discusses how his lab is working on cutting edge technology, and what's in store for the future of prosthetics.

The Bensmaia Lab studies how the peripheral and central nervous systems represent the world around us. Dr. Bensmaia's research has led to groundbreaking insights about how we perceive objects and textures through the sense of touch, and may one day lead to prosthetic devices that completely restore a realistic sense of touch for amputees and tetraplegic patients. Stream or download the podcast using the player below, or find the episode everywhere podcasts are found, including iTunes, Stitcher, and Gretta.

A Touch Of Science

Dr. Sliman Bensmaia discusses:

  • The progression of prosthetics research and development over the last several years.
  • How the brain encodes sensory information and how researchers are working on decoding that information.
  • Different scientific challenges faced between restoring a sense of touch for amputees and restoring a sense of touch for tetraplegics, plus the progress that's being made in each field of research.
  • Future possibilities that neuroscience could uncover, from rehabilitation to augmentation.

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Podcast Show Notes And Links

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About the Curiosity Podcast: Curiosity makes you smarter – and so will this podcast. Each episode features experts in every field who explain why their knowledge is important and why you should care. Developed as an audio companion to the existing Curiosity experience, you'll learn about your brain and your body, outer space and the depths of the sea, how history shaped the world into what it is today, and more. From the largest galaxies to your smallest brain cells, hosts Cody Gough and Ashley Hamer will share their curiosity to help you understand the world better.

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