Researchers develop human prosthesis for balance, unfortunately it’s not a tail

There’s hope for those of us suffering from chronic imbalance as a result of staring too long at periodic tables and 20-sided dice. It’s an implant developed by neuroscientists at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. The implant looks to off-set balance irregularities in the human vestibular system caused by trauma or disease affecting the gyroscopic function of the inner ear. A microprocessor converts signals received from a motion sensor worn on the head into electrical impulses. These are then sent to an electrode implanted into the inner ear. The first test will begin next week on a rhesus monkey. A move which evokes cries of “unfair” from us — unlike nerds, monkeys already have excellent balance.


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