Rewiring the Sense of Touch

Doctors have rewired the nerves of two people with amputated arms, rerouting the major nerves that carry sensation from the hand to the pectoral muscles in the chest.

After the procedure, the patients can experience an object touching their chest in two ways at the same time — the expected feeling of being touched on the chest, as well as the sensation of being touched on a missing hand.

Todd Kuiken, one of the doctors involved in the project, explains how the rewiring works, and whether it could lead to more effective prosthetic devices.

Guest:

Todd Kuiken, director of the Neural Engineering Center for Artificial Limbs, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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