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Chip in paralyzed man's brain lets him move his own hand

Posted in Science on 28th Jun, 2014 03:27 AM by AlexMuller

The breakthrough was made possible by the insertion of a microchip in the part of the man's brain that controls movement of his arms during an operation in April. Although the power of thought has been used in the past to move artificial limbs, this is the first time that a quadriplegic has been able to move one of his own.

The chip, just 0.15 of an inch wide and with 96 electrodes that can read thoughts, was inserted into a port into the American man's skull, and connected to a computer via a normal computer lead. The electrodes deciphered the messages Burkhart was sending to his brain and the computer translated them into commands which were then sent, via a "sleeve" containing more electrodes around his forearm, which stimulated the muscles in his hand, making them obey the brain's commands. It took Burkhart just one-tenth of a second from thinking about moving his arm to moving it.
The breakthrough was a combined effort between the surgeons and spinal specialists of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, and specialist engineers from Battelle, a non-profit engineering company, who had created something called Neurobridge, which creates a virtual spinal cord using microchip technology. After the operation, Burkhart suffered terrible headaches and wasn't allowed to watch TV or movies as the specialists had forbidden him to concentrate on anything.

Tags: brainthoughtbrain computer interfaceBCIchip

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Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-06-28
This is a remarkable achievement! . This example, where a chip implanted in the brain can be used to move a patient's paralysed arm, highlights how important is collaboration between medical doctors and engineers Reply


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