New research conducted by BrainGate and recently published in PLOS ONE has shown that paralyzed patients may have a new way of not only communicating, but of playing music, surfing the web and more. This is all thanks to an intracortical brain-computer interface (iBCI) developed by BrainGate. BrainGate’s collaborative research team includes neurologists, neuroscientists, engineers, computer scientists, neurosurgeons, mathematicians and more. In addition to assistive communication, they also conduct research on movement restoration.
“For years, the BrainGate collaboration has been working to develop the neuroscience and neuroengineering know-how to enable people who have lost motor abilities to control external devices just by thinking about the movement of their own arm or hand,” said Dr. Jamie Henderson, a senior author of the paper and Stanford University neurosurgeon said, according to IFLScience.com. “In this study we’ve harnessed that know-how to restore people’s ability to control the exact same everyday technologies they were using before the onset of their illnesses. It was wonderful to see the participants express themselves or just find a song they wanted to hear.” The technology includes a small chip that is implanted in the brain’s motor cortex. A sensor decodes the neural activity linked to intended movements and sends these intentions to external devices.
Check out a short video of the device in action here: https://youtu.be/O6Qw3EDBPhg.