In this Book

Shattered Nerves
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summary
Once the stuff of science fiction, neural prosthetics are now a reality. Research and technology are creating implants that enable the deaf to hear, the blind to see, and the paralyzed to move. Shattered Nerves takes us on a journey into a new medical frontier, where sophisticated, state-of-the-art medical devices repair and restore failed sensory and motor systems. In a compelling narrative that reveals the intimate relationship between technology and the physicians, scientists, and patients who bring it to life, Victor D. Chase explores groundbreaking developments in neural technology. Through personal interviews and extensive research, Chase introduces us to the people and devices that are restoring shattered lives, from implants that enable the paralyzed to stand, walk, feed, and groom themselves, to those that restore bladder and bowel control, and even sexual function. Signals from the brains of paralyzed people are captured and transformed to allow them to operate computers. Brain implants hold the potential to resolve psychiatric illnesses and to restore the ability to form memories in damaged brains. This timely and important book also explores troubling boundaries between restoration and enhancement, where implants could conceivably endow the able-bodied with superhuman capabilities. Chase concludes this fascinating book with a provocative question: Just because we can, does that mean we should?

Table of Contents

  1. Contents
  2. p. ix
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xiii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-7
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  1. 1 Learning to Listen All Over Again
  2. pp. 8-27
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  1. 2 The Body Electric
  2. pp. 28-33
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  1. 3 Of Frogs’ Legs and Transistors
  2. pp. 34-54
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  1. 4 The Grandfather of Neural Prostheses
  2. pp. 55-69
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  1. 5 Accidental Pioneers
  2. pp. 70-85
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  1. 6 Giving a Hand
  2. pp. 86-97
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  1. 7 Looking Back at an Empty Wheelchair
  2. pp. 98-116
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  1. 8 The Dirty Little Secret
  2. pp. 117-127
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  1. 9 Sound in the Brain
  2. pp. 128-151
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  1. 10 In the Eye of the Beholder
  2. pp. 152-182
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  1. 11 Nerves of Platinum and Iridium
  2. pp. 183-209
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  1. 12 Pins and Needles in the Brain
  2. pp. 210-225
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  1. 13 From the Inside Out
  2. pp. 226-235
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  1. 14 Reaching the Depth of Depression
  2. pp. 236-243
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  1. 15 A Hole in the Center of the Brain
  2. pp. 244-250
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  1. 16 Ethics
  2. pp. 251-272
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  1. 17 Biomimetic and Superhuman
  2. pp. 273-278
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  1. Selected Bibliography
  2. pp. 279-280
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 281-289
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