Paralyzed individuals handle a brain implant tablet

A team of scientists has managed to make paralyzed people operate a tablet by implanting a brain-computer interface in their brain.


Last year, a study from the scientific effort called BrainGate reported that a Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) allowed a paralyzed person to type up to eight words per minute, just by thinking. Now, according to new results from a BrainGate2 clinical trial, the same BCI was used to help three participants operating a tablet computer.

All three participants suffer from loss of movement in their arms due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also referred to as Lou Gehrig disease) or spinal cord injury. The brain implant and a series of microelectrodes were placed in all of them as part of his clinical trial. BrainGate2. In this particular study, the neural signals expressed by the implant were routed through a protocol, providing a virtual mouse. This "mouse" was paired with a Google Nexus 9 tablet via Bluetooth.

Each participant was asked to try seven common applications on the tablet: email, chat, web browser, video sharing, music streaming, weather program, and news gathering program. The researchers also asked users if they wanted any additional apps, and then added the keyboard app, Amazon shopping and a calculator. Participants reached up to 22 clicks per minute and typed up to 30 characters per minute in email and text programs.

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In addition, all three participants really enjoy using the tablet.

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