Through a sensor installed in the brain, people with multiple paralysis will be able to use their minds to manage computers as part of his daily life, according to a report published by Stanford University in California.
The study developed a brain-computer interface (BCI) that allows the user to move the cursor and "clicks" on the computer when recording brain commands.
The "size of aspirin for babies" implant allowed to collect signals associated with deliberate movements generated in the motor cortex of the brain of the participants.
These mental orders "were deciphered and diverted to external devices" that they received as if they were moving with their hand.
"Orders were redirected to a Bluetooth interface configured to work as a wireless mouse," which was linked to the Google Nexus 9 tablet, the report said.
Neurosurgeon from Stanford University, Jaime Henderson, chief author of the report, noted that for years Brain Gate's consortium has been working to develop "neuroscience and neurotechnology knowledge that allows people to control devices with their thinking."
"In this study, we used this" know-how "to restore people's capacity and can control exactly the same everyday technologies they used before the onset of their illness," Henderson said.
Through the study, published in the Plos One scientific paper, three people with tetraplegia – paralysis in the four limbs that also affect other nerves and muscles of the neck down – could cope with computers by moving the cursor and "clicking" using only his thought.
Thus, they could "talk" with family and friends, shop online or choose and listen to their favorite songs, among many other options available, as they used to do before they suffer from paralysis.
Participants reported that BCI was "intuitive and fun to use."
They could make up to 22 selections per minute or write up to 30 characters at the same time using standard e-mail and text-based applications.
"I felt more natural than I remembered when I used the mouse," one said, according to the report.
Another noted that he had "greater control than when he had previously used the computer".
"It was great to see whether the participants are expressing themselves or simply finding the song they want to hear," says Dr. Henderson.
The research was supported by scientists at Brown University, the Medical Check Center and the General Hospital in Massachusetts.