The Neuroscientist Studying How Our Brains Control Our Hands

Computers are smart enough to beat humans at chess, Go, and Jeopardy!, but when it comes to basic hand movements, robots can still only master rudimentary tasks. Robots aren’t able to bake a cake or mow the lawn, for example, which means “we don’t fully understand how the brain does it,” said neuroscientist Jörn Diedrichsen, who’s working to untangle how the human brain controls hand movement. “We don’t even have a robot that can control its hand as well as a two-year-old.” Once we figure out how the brain controls fine motor skills, we’ll be able to build more skilled, capable robots—and prosthetics that make us more powerful. Diedrichsen is working on that now. The scientist, who just joined Western University after leaving University College London, is focused on helping…

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