Brain Implant Gives Paralyzed Man Ability to Communicate Using His Thoughts

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Health Editor’s Note:  Awesome….this is what medicine and science are all about!!!!!….Carol


Brain Implants Allow Paralyzed Man to Communicate Using His Thoughts

by Margaret Osbourne/Smithsonianmag.com

A fully paralyzed man with ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, was able to communicate with doctors and his family using a brain-computer interface that allowed him to spell out words using his thoughts, according to a new study published in Nature Communications.

This research represents the first time a completely paralyzed person regained the ability to communicate at length, explains study author Niels Birbaumer, a former neuroscientist at the University of Tübingen, to the New York Times’s Jonathan Moens.

The patient had previously used eye-tracking technology to talk with family before losing control of eye movements but began working with researchers while he could still talk using that method.

After implanting the patient’s brain with microelectrodes, researchers tried for 86 days to communicate until they decided to try a method called auditory neurofeedback, writes Technology Networks’ Ruairi J Mackenzie.

The process involved researchers showing the patient his brain activity in real time, and the patient learning to change his brain signals, writes Science’s Kelly Servick. The man learned to hit audible target notes by increasing or decreasing his neural activity. A higher tone—increased firing rate of neurons—meant “yes,” while a lower tone meant “no.”

Read the Full Article at: SmithsonianMag.com

SOURCESmithsonianMag.com

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1 COMMENT

  1. Very interesting, and it has notable symbolic correlations. To be “locked in” a state of non-communication , has long been a major issue, for those who pursue spiritual connection. Many report that when the barrier breaks, it starts with very basic yes or no responses. Different tones, or even a feeling of touch like a tap on the arm have been reported,. Auditory is the next step.

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