Paul Lachine

人机之间

德国图宾根——今天,我们被机器全面包围着,以致于有时很难分清人机界限。从电脑到扫描仪再到移动设备,越来越多的人在清醒的大部分时间里通过电子产品和外界打交道,视觉、听觉和触觉等感官似乎成了人脑和机器之间唯一的障碍,而它们也构成了人机之间的分界。但如果将感官从这个等式中去掉,电子设备就可以成为我们的眼睛、耳朵甚至手脚,它帮我们借助软硬件来领会和影响周围的世界。

所有这些并不仅仅停留在预测。脑机接口在临床领域已经取得了丰硕的成果,比方说为恢复听力植入人工耳蜗。深部脑刺激疗法可以用来治疗终期帕金森症的患者。目前在神经义肢领域的研究让人们意识到类似疗法在未来巨大的发展潜力,无论是盲人视网膜或脑干移植还是通过植入大脑记录设备来控制假肢的活动。

以记录脑电波为基础的非损伤性脑机接口已经使瘫痪病人的沟通能力得以恢复。动物研究和某些人类研究的结果表明,实现了由人类完全实时控制的人工假肢可以进一步让瘫痪病人实现抓握、甚至依靠由大脑控制的人工假腿实现站立和行走,虽然达到这个目标可能需要接受有创性治疗(将电极直接植入患者的大脑)。

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