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Scientists Connect Human Brain to Computer With Wire in Vein

human brain
(SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY via AP Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 03 November 2020 10:12 AM

A group of researchers from the University of Melbourne successfully connected a human brain to a computer running Windows 10 using a method first theorized in 2016: inserting electrodes into the jugular vein.

Thomas Oxley, the study’s lead author and the chief executive of the company Synchron, which hopes to find a commercial use for the technology, told Wired that “Just with a handful of outputs restored to the patient that they’re in control of, we’ve got them controlling Windows 10.”

The study, which was published in the “Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery” last week, found that two patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, were able to control a computer’s mouse just using their brain.

“The participants undertook machine-learning-assisted training to use wirelessly transmitted electrocorticography signal associated with attempted movements to control multiple mouse-click actions, including zoom and left-click,” it reads.

“Used in combination with an eye-tracker for cursor navigation, participants achieved Windows 10 operating system control to conduct instrumental activities of daily living tasks.”

Elon Musk’s company Neuralink is working on similar technology that relies on inserting about one thousand electrodes into a person’s brain by a robot surgeon, and has so far only been demonstrated on pigs.

“There’s a trade-off between how invasive you want to be and at what level you collect information,” Andrew Pruszynski, a neuroscientist with Western University in Canada’s Brain and Mind Institute, told Wired. “This is trying to get to the middle ground, to insert a catheter close to the neural activity. It’s obviously invasive, but certainly not as invasive as putting electrodes into the brain.”

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A group of researchers from the University of Melbourne successfully connected a human brain to a computer running Windows 10 using a method first theorized in 2016: inserting electrodes into the jugular vein...
brain, computer, neuralink, study, science
267
2020-12-03
Tuesday, 03 November 2020 10:12 AM
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