One application of the knowledge of sensory modalities is in the field of bioengineering. Knowing that sense organs are biological transducers allows the possibility of replacing damaged or nonfunctional sense organs with ar tificial transducers, the same way artificial limbs replace missing ones. Today's most advanced artificial limbs can be connected directly to nerves that send information from the motor (movement) areas of the brain; thus, a person can direct movement of the artificial limb with neural messages via thoughts. Similarly, bioengineers are researching the use of small sensors that can be set up to send electrical signals directly to a person's sensory nerves or the sensory cortex of the brain. Researchers have already developed the first version of a hearing aid to help people who have nerve deafness in the inner ear but whose auditory processing centers in the brain are still intact.
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