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The brain sensor will allow quadriplegies to use computers

November 21, 2018 03:49
Updated on November 21, 2018, 16:57

According to the sensor installed in the brain, people with multiple paralysis can use their minds to manage computers as part of their everyday lives, according to a report released Wednesday by Stanford University in California, USA.

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 implant (size of aspirin for babies) is allowed to collect signals associated with intentional movements generated in the motor cortex of the brain of the participants.

These mental orders were deciphered and redirected to external devices that they received as movements made by 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.

Jaime Henderson, a neurosurgeon at Stanford University, the lead author of the report, said that for years Brain Gate's consortium has been working on developing neural networks and neurotechnology skills that enable 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 on Wednesday in the Plos One scientific paper, three people with tetraplegia, paralysis in the four limbs that also affect other nerves and muscles on the neck down, can 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 other options available as they were before paralysis.

Participants reported that BCI was "intuitive and fun to use." They could do up to 22 selections per minute or write up to 30 characters at the same time using standard email and text 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 in a normal way.

"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.

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