Effectively, the device detects when brain is following the wrong script to solve a problem, and plays back the correct script that allows the subject to succeed.
In the study, the scientists trained five monkeys to match multiple images on a computer screen until they were correct 70 to 75 percent of the time…
When the monkeys correctly chose the image they were shown first, the electronic prosthetic device recorded the pattern of neural pulses associated with their decision by employing a multi-input multi-output nonlinear (MIMO) mathematical model, developed by researchers at the University of Southern California.
In the next phase of the study, a drug known to disrupt cognitive activity, cocaine, was administered to the animals to simulate brain injury…
[D]uring these “drug sessions,” the MIMO prosthesis detected when the animals were likely to choose the wrong image and played back the previously recorded “correct” neural patterns for the task.
…the MIMO device was exceedingly effective in restoring the cocaine-impaired decision-making ability to an improved level of 10 percent above normal, even when the drug was still present and active.
“The basis for why the MIMO prosthesis was effective in improving performance was because we specifically programmed the model to recognize neural patterns that occurred when the animals correctly performed the behavioral task in real time, which is a unique feature of this particular device…”
“Based on the findings of this study, we hope in the future to develop an implantable neuroprosthesis that could help people recover from cognitive deficiencies due to brain injuries…”